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Widow's Walk
 
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Widow's Walk [Format Kindle]

Robert B Parker

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.com

It's good to see private eye Spenser back in Boston, after his ludicrous imitation of a frontier lawman in Robert B. Parker's Potshot. But he's getting nowhere investigating the gunshot murder of banker Nathan Smith in Widow's Walk. The cops figure Smith's ingenuous but unfaithful young wife, Mary, pulled the trigger. She denies it. Spenser, hired by former prosecutor Rita Fiore to help build Mary Smith the best defense her money can buy, isn't sure either way, and the more time he spends on this case (dense with business and sexual deceptions), the more perplexed he becomes.

Of course, our poetry-spouting hero finally catches a break by linking Smith's demise to a convoluted real-estate scam. The rest of the novel offers plenty of Parker's characteristically witty dialogue, the slayings of several informants that you know from the get-go are toast, and ample opportunities for Spenser and his robustly menacing sidekick, Hawk, to intimidate lesser thugs. Unfortunately, the author isn't as attentive to the needs of other series regulars, including Spenser inamorata Susan Silverman, whose restrained jealousy toward lawyer Fiore ("Rita is sexually rapacious and perfectly amoral about it. I'm merely acknowledging that") and self-flagellation over a gay client's suicide somehow add no new depth to her character.

Parker has a propulsive prose style and can still concoct engrossing stories; his 2001 standalone Western, Gunman's Rhapsody, is a fine example. Widow's Walk doesn't quite meet that standard. Though entertaining, it's an unsatisfying chapter in a series that's become too predictable. --J. Kingston Pierce

Extrait

ONE

"I think she's probably guilty," Rita Fiore said to me.

We were in her office, high up, with a view of the harbor.

"And you're her lawyer," I said. "

Tells you about her case," Rita said. She sat on the edge of her desk in front of me, her thick red hair gleaming. She had on a black suit with a very short skirt. Rita knew her legs were good.

"But you'll represent her anyway."

"Like everyone else," Rita said, "she's entitled to the best defense she can get."

"Or afford," I said.

Rita smiled. "Or afford."

"She got money?"

"Oodles," Rita said.

"Last time I worked for you," I said, "I almost got killed."

"I know," Rita said. "We could give you hazardous-duty pay."

"It's all hazardous duty," I said. "Tell me about your client."

"Mary Smith."

"Mary Smith?"

"Honest to God," Rita said. "It's her real name. She was married to the victim, Nathan Smith. Her maiden name was Toricelli."

"She have oodles of money before she married him?" I said.

"No."

"Ah ha!"

"Ah ha?"

"It's an investigational term," I said. "That where the oodles come from?"

"Yes."

"They the same age?"

"He married her when she was twenty-three and he was fifty-one."

"Prior marriages?"

"None. For either."

"How old is she now?"

"Thirty."

Rita had her legs crossed. She bounced the top leg a little, looking at the point of her shoe. The shoe had a very high heel. It looked uncomfortable. But good.

"Anyone else in her life?"

Rita shook her head sadly. "God," she said. "You're a cynical bastard."

"Anyone?"

"Cops suspect her of an affair or two."

"With?"

Rita smiled. "Youwant them in chronological order?" she said. "Or alphabetically?"

"You can give me a list," I said. "What's the prosecution's case?"

"He was discovered naked in his bed with a hole in his head made by a forty-caliber slug."

"They find the bullet?"

"Yes. After it went through his head it tore through the mattress and lodged in the baseboard. Angle of the shot suggests that it was fired by someone in bed beside him."

"She have an alibi?"

"No. She says she was downstairs in the library watching television."

"She hear the shot?"

"No. Says the TV was on loud and her door was closed so as not to wake him up."

"So she found him that way when she went up to bed."

"Yes. They didn't share a bedroom, but she usually stopped in to say good night."

"Did he normally sleep naked?" I said.

"I don't know."

"Okay," I said. "She's a good candidate. But they got to have more than that to prosecute."

"They had a huge fight earlier in the evening. He actually slapped her."

"Witnesses?"

"Two dozen. It was a big cocktail party in Brookline."

"And I assume she's his heir," I said.

"Yes."

"And there's more," I said.

"Unfortunately, yes. Prosecution has a witness who says she tried to hire him to kill her husband."

"And he declined?"

"He says he did."

"He make a deal for his testimony?"

"Yes. They picked him up for something unrelated. He said if they could work something out, he could help them with this case."

"Which is a high profiler," I said.

"The Smiths first came to Boston on the Mayflower," Rita said.

"The Mayflower didn't come to Boston," I said.

"Well, they've been here a long time," Rita said.

"But the cops can't put her in the room when the gun went off," I said.

"No."

"No powder residue on her hands."

"No. But he did."

"Shot at close range," I said. "Put his hands up to try and stop the bullet?"

"That's the police theory."

"Everybody knows about powder residue anyway," I said. "She could have worn gloves."

"Police didn't find them."

"You can flush those latex jobs down the toilet like a condom."

"I've heard that can happen," Rita said.

"I'll bet you have," I said.

"I meant about the gloves," Rita said.

"Oh."

"There is probably more," Rita said. "But that's what I know they've got so far."

"You think they can convict her on that?" I said.

"Motive, and opportunity, prior solicitations to murder. Plus the jury won't like her."

"Because?"

"Because she's what my mother would have called cheap. She's too pretty, too made up, too blond, lot of attitude, drinks to excess, probably does dope, sleeps around."

"Sounds like a great date," I said.

"And her diction is bad," Rita said. "She sounds uneducated."

"Juries don't like that?"

"They are more inclined to think you're innocent if you sound like Barbara Walters," Rita said.

"You think Barbara would be a good date?"

"Oh, oink," Rita said.

"You think the prosecution knows stuff they haven't told you?" I said.

Rita had thick dark red hair which glinted in the sunlight that streamed through her big picture window.

"Maybe," she said.

"What about full disclosure?" I said.

"What about the Easter bunny?" Rita said. "You want to see what you can find out?"

"Sure."

—Reprinted from Widows Walk by Robert B. Parker by permission of The Putnam Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2002, Robert B. Parker. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

 

 


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 347 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 352 pages
  • Editeur : Berkley; Édition : Reprint (4 mars 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000OIZSK0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°340.705 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 étoiles sur 5  105 commentaires
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Who Killed Nathan Smith? 12 avril 2002
Par R. Shaff - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
After reading Robert B. Parker's latest Spenser incarnation, WIDOW'S WALK, I don't think I can answer that question. I suspect that anyone else reviewing this book will come to the same conclusion if they re-read the last 75 pages of the book. As such and given the incredibly high marks given by most reviewers of this book, I fear my review will be quite unpopular.
Spenser is hired by the leggy redhead attorney, Rita Fiore (a returning character) to find out who killed Nathan Smith. Smith, a blue blood banker with an impeccable reputation in Boston, was killed in his bed allegedly while his much younger wife, Mary, was watching television in another part of their three-story home. Without the appearance of a break-in or security breach, all circumstantial evidence points to Mary as suicide has been ruled out given the absence of the gun at the crime scene. When Spenser begins questioning Mary, he immediately finds that she lacks the intellectual capacity to string together basic sentences much less understand how or why her husband has been killed. Spenser's not so certain that Mary is deficient in mental faculty department or is putting on a grandiose act.
As Spenser begins his investigation, he immediately picks up a tail. After interviewing the Smiths' stockbroker, Spenser is accosted by the two tailing thugs. In true Spenser fashion, he provides his would-be attackers with the beating they so richly deserve. Shortly thereafter, people directly and peripherally attached to this case begin dying in savage order. Parker takes the reader through the typical investigatory scheme and provides a climax that left this reader scratching his head.
I've read all of Parker's Spenser novels and typically wait anxiously for the next offering. However, with this particular novel, I'm wondering what Bob was thinking. He maintains his easy-to-read chapters and storyline cadence of previous Spenser offerings but in this reviewer's opinion, that's about it. Several things were missing here: 1) a heavy dose of Spenser witticisms {Parker typically has me laughing out loud with Spenser's one-liners; not so here}, 2) an incredible lack of Hawk and his captivating mannerisms {if one is a true fan of Spenser, you know what I mean), 3) lack of character development of the resident villain (I don't know what to say here; Parker has an uncanny knack of providing the reader the psyche of the book's villain; not so in WIDOW'S WALK), and 4) WHO KILLED NATHAN SMITH?! As to my last comment here, the individual(s) responsible for the death of Nathan Smith is never disclosed.
All in all, a very disappointing Spenser for me however, as a true fan, I'll be there for the next offering.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Nobody Cares 12 mai 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In a scene in Robert Parker's "Widow's Walk," Spenser is explaining his newest case to Susan Silverman while she makes egg salad. When I found myself thinking about why Susan would decide to use Miracle Whip instead of mayonaise, and paying no attention to whether Spenser's ditsy blonde client killed her husband, I realized that something had gone seriously wrong here. Even Parker is more interested in the egg salad than he should be. He doesn't seem to care about the people he created, nor about what happens to them.
I can understand it, poor guy. Imagine trying to keep caring when you're writing the twenty-ninth book of a series. But, although it is easy to understand, it is not at all easy to keep ploughing through the result.
"Widow's Walk" is a badly written book, and even Spenser himself -- who's greatest appeal for me is his rock-solid resolve to help wherever he can -- can't help on this one. He says, more than half-way through the book, that he has no idea what is going on with his case. And neither do we.
The novels we never forget share one thing in common. They make us care a very great deal about what happens to their characters. Pick up "The Count of Monte Cristo" and you'll see that Dumas accomplished it in what may be a record, in the first paragraphs of the first page. Dickins does it. Tolstoy does it. Flaubert does it. And Parker does it. Paul Giacomin as he grew into himself, under Spenser's inimitable guidance, is a beautifully wrought and memorable character.
Spenser lends his strength, his wit, his savvy and his great heart to his clients because he cares what happens to them. And so do we. But not in "Widow's Walk."
Forget this one happened, Parker, and please do it for us again.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A standard Spenser novel -- and that ain't bad 24 mars 2002
Par Bruce Trinque - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
There are no big surprises in "Widow's Walk" and no great social questions to be explored. It is very much a standard Spenser novel, where the stalwart and flippant Boston PI takes on the bad guys. The case is simple: investigate the murder of a wealthy banker to help his much younger blonde wife beat the homicide charge. She can't be as dumb as she seems. Or maybe she really is. Spenser and Hawk and Susan are their usual selves. Not an earthshaking novel, but a good fast read that kept me turning the pages as more and more bodies piled up. Hey, "Widow's Walk" isn't going to win the Pulitzer Prize, but I'll be waiting happily for next year's Spenser novel...
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Neither a Borrower Nor a Murderer Be 18 juillet 2002
Par Marc Ruby™ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The book list provided by the publisher shows that this his forty-second work, twenty-ninth in the Spencer series. That is an astonishing creative space over which to maintain literary momentum. Naturally, quality varies, but Robert Parker has proven that he can consistently produce enjoyable mysteries, some of which are actually exceptional. I haven't been as pleased with the last few stories, which have sometimes felt like caricatures of themselves, but "Widow's Walk" seems signal a return to the style of old.
When Spenser is hired to try to prove that Mary Smith did not kill Nathan, her husband, his first reaction was that this was a hopeless case. Even Mary's lawyer is convinced her client is guilty. The death occurred in a locked house and the gun is missing. Mary and Nathan have been seen fighting and it seems that she tried to hire someone to kill him. Worse, Mary has made a career of being one or two steps removed from reality, and she hasn't been particularly helpful.
Nevertheless Spencer undertakes the case and finds the simple surface conceals an unending stream of complications and misrepresentations. There is trouble at Nathan's bank, his sex life is ambiguous, and people start to die. In fact, Spencer himself comes under attack. All this keeps the detective and his good friend Hawk busy, but it doesn't really seem to lead anywhere. Nothing makes Mary look any less guilty and the death toll keeps mounting.
Parker's story telling relies on sharp, sarcastic dialogue. Most often Spencer resolves a case by poking at everything until it begins to unravel, and "Widow's Walk" is no exception. In this case, though, the dialogue has turned down a notch from the peak it reached in "Potshot" and "Hugger Mugger." The result is more realistic exchanges and a smoother feel to the story. The plot, however, moves a bit too mechanically for me. At times things just seem to happen rather than develop one after the other. But that is often the nature of a Spenser tale.
Despite these slight flaws I found the book very entertaining. Pearl the wonder dog still lives and Spenser still finds Susan the sexiest woman he knows. And the old characters are still there in all their usual eccentric feistiness. There are times when we need to get away from books with great quantities of character development and just relax in a comfort zone. Save this book for one of those moments.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "It's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory." 6 juin 2003
Par Larry Scantlebury - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
We'll never tire of Spenser. I'm pretty certain of that. Even when we know the guy's going to end up being 80 years old, still checking out the babes, beating up the bad guys, with an emotional United Nations of friends and camp followers, even then we'll always enjoy his company for a few hundred pages.
Here he hooks up with an old flame, Rita Fiore, tries to help her client, the incredibly dumb Mary Smith, hangs with Cimoli, Quirk, Belson, Vinnie and Hawk, has his ashes hauled as usual by the ever size 5 Susan, and in the end, well, you know.
One disappointment for me was that he doesn't seem as sad as he used to be once faced with the darker side of the whims of life. As a consequence, Susan's sadness at the suicide of one of her patient's seems almost trite, certainly unnecessary. But it's Spenser being Spenser.
Hard to beat the early Spensers, but the recent ones ain't too shabby either. This one, "Widow's Walk," is one of the better novels of Parker's cast in the last ten years. Nevertheless, if you're new to the quintessential PI you shouild start with the early ones. These are some of the best mysteries in the last 50 years. Like the game we would play when we were kids, if you were going to take 10 mysteries with you on a deserted island, three would be by Parker written before 1985, possibly Gudwulf, Rachel Wallace, Ceremony, God Save the Child or A Savage Place.
But as Watson would tell Holmes, I digress. Spenser fans won't be disappinted in Widow's Walk.
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