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Valediction [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 2 1992 Spenser
At a loose end when his girl leaves, Spenser figures he might as well investigate the alleged kidnapping of a dancer by a fringe religious sect. When a connection between the leader of the sect and a dubious construction company comes to light, he smells a rat.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Valediction + Ceremony + A Savage Place
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There were at least three kinds of cops in Harvard Yard: a scattering of Cambridge cops, gray-haired mostly, with faces out of County Mayo; portly old men in brown uniforms and no sidearms who guarded the gates; and squadrons of Harvard University police who wore tailored blue uniforms and expensive black gun belts, and looked like graduates of the Los Angeles Police Academy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Spenser is without a doubt as tough as they come. However, he also can be as sappy as they come, with emotional vulnerabilities that can get him killed. The book opens with Spenser and Susan Silverman attending commencement at Harvard, where she is awarded a Ph. D in clinical psychology. Shortly after this event, Susan informs him that she is moving to Los Angeles in an attempt to be alone for awhile. Spenser is devastated, and Paul Giacomin moves in with him in an attempt to help him through the crisis. Hawk and Spenser's other friends do what they can, but he has lost much of his will to live.
He is asked to investigate the disappearance of a woman, which leads him to an unusual religious cult. Nothing is as it seems and Spenser makes mistakes that nearly get him killed. This book describes him as a powerful, ruthless and yet very vulnerable person. Parker takes the vulnerability to the edge of believability, but wisely pulls back from that point. Despite his anguish and lack of interest in living, Spenser is still a formidable fighting machine, wisecracking with friends and foes alike.
Spenser beds a woman who works near him, and afterward he sleeps for the first time since Susan left. However, that relationship ends when Spenser kills four of the five killers sent to eliminate him. Unlike Susan, this woman cannot accept the fact that Spenser is forced to kill people in his line of work.
This is a Spenser book that many will dislike and others will consider their favorite. The romantic vulnerability of Spenser has always been there, but in this book it is greatly expanded. If you like romance, then you will enjoy it. However, if your tastes are more for the action, then this may be one of your least favorite novels in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not great, but certainly not bad. April 23 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert B. Parker, Valediction (Delacorte, 1982)

One of the best things that can be said about Valediction is that it sets up the events in one of the best Spenser novels to date, A Catskill Eagle. That alone is enough to make it worth reading. It´¿s also a little heaver on The Continuing Saga of Spenser and Susan than many Spenser novels; judge as you will and buy accordingly. Somewhere beneath all that, there´¿s a mystery waiting to happen. In this case, Spenser is hired by one of his foster child´¿s dance instructors to find said instructor´¿s girlfriend, whom he believes has been kidnapped by a sect of religious extremists. The story sounds wonky from the beginning, but what seems a little off at first ends up being stranger than anyone involved ever imagined.

The cast list reads rather like a Spenser´¿s Greatest Hits novel. Almost everyone in here has popped up before in a Spenser novel, from kids to hoods. The framework of the characters is already set up, and the plot pretty much writes itself. It´¿s empty calories, the kind of stuff you´¿d never catch the main character eating. However, this book is less about the mystery therein than it is about Spenser himself and how his changing relationship with Susan affects his own outlook on life. It sets the book apart somewhat, and that, combined with the events in the next book it sets up, makes this one a worthwhile addition to the canon. ***
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still Spenser but......different. Sept. 27 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps I'm boring but Parker hit a grand slam with me when creating the dynamic duo of Spenser and Hawk. While we still have the terrific tandem here, Parker throws a few curves at the reader in Valediction.
Right out of the box, you know this is going to be a nerve-wracking story. In the opening scene, Spenser has just come from Susan's Ph.D. grad ceremony when she drops the atomic bomb that she is moving to San Francisco for a new job. This sets the stage for Spenser's moods throughout this book.
Spenser's friend, Paul, asks him to look into a wherein Paul's boss, Tommy Banks, believes that his girlfriend has been kidnapped and brainwashed by a religous cult. While we learn that Banks may not be the most honest citizen, it really doesn't matter. For if you are in Spenser's way in this novel, you are in grave danger.
On a lighter note, Spenser meets, goes out and seduces the woman he has flirted with across the street via flirtatious smiles from their respective office windows. This relationship takes on a more serious tone but, can it last? Will Susan return to Spenser?
Parker takes you down a variety of paths in this one. Different for Parker but a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Susan Leaves Spenser... Jan. 9 2001
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As soon as I read the stanza from John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" telling us how "lover's love cannot admit absence, beaus it doth remove those things which elemented it," I knew our hero was in trouble. "Valediction," the eleventh of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels, begins with a primal shocker as Susan Silverman receives her doctorate from Harvard and then announces she has taken a job in California, she will call but not give him her address, and walks out of our hero's life. As you can imagine, the impact on Spenser is profound, and while Paul Giacomin and Hawk are there for support, there is apparently little they can do. How profound an impact? Well, throughout the book Spenser drinks Irish whiskey instead of beer and the only thing I remember him making in the kitchen is a salad. Paul is there for dialectical engagements, but Spenser just sinks deeper into the abyss. But you know that a case is going to present itself which will seek to snap him out of it and that this case will provide a not too subtle counterpoint to Susan's abandonment.
Not surprisingly the case comes from Paul. His dance instructor claims that his girlfriend was kidnapped by the "Bullies," a fanatic religious sect. Spenser does not care about Tommy Banks or Sherry Spellman (that will come later), but he takes the case for Paul's sake. Even though he is barely going through the motions he will find out where Sherry is staying and will take more than a passing interest in the rather odd practices of the Reorganized Church of the Redemption. The problem is that our hero is nowhere near being at the top of his game and for once he is more than a step behind for most of the game with very costly results.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My Rev. of "Valediction"
I have been a Robert B. Parker fan for years. I purchased this book to fill in a hole in my collection of his work. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2012 by DDC
5.0 out of 5 stars Symbolism Steeps & Steams. Spenser Loses Sleep, Speaks-in-Tongues to...
This might not be much of a review since the only word which has come to mind since I've finished the read is, "WOW. Read more
Published on April 27 2007 by Linda G. Shelnutt
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Ol' Parker
He rarely disappoints, and he rarely surprises. Parker is as dependable as they come, and so it is with Valediction. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2003 by vanishingpoint
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best Spensers, with an s
This book leads into my favorite spenser, A Catskill Eagle, but is excellent all alone. This time we see Spenser after Susan has left him and he's tortured by her absence, not... Read more
Published on March 2 2003 by John M Barra
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy from Parker; a pleasant departure.
This is the book in which Susan Silverman ~ that's Dr. Silverman to you and me ~ leaves Spenser for the West Coast, freedom, and the attempt to be someone apart from Spenser. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2000 by Elsie Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawk Takes The Lead
This is another Spenser and Hawk story set in Boston with much of it concentrated in the Back Bay section. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2000 by Peter Kenney
5.0 out of 5 stars I cried for Spenser
This is a heart-wrenching story which begins with Spenser attending Susan's Ph.D. ceremony at Harvard. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2000 by Harmoni
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