Cold Service

Written by:
Robert B. Parker
Narrated by:
Joe Mantegna

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2005
5 hours 46 minutes
When Spenser's closet ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting booking Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.

Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption--it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.
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One of my fav authors but this one was wearing cement overshoes

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I have been a fan of Robert Parker for years and this was really the first book of his where I jumped to the end to get it over. Parker does his best work when the stories are about individuals and not the grand concept of "crime." At no point did I ever care how this ended, I just wanted it to end. Stay away from the organized crime and go back to protecting the individual.

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I finished one CD and part of another before I gave up. The narrator, Joe Mantegna, was boring and showed little or no emotion in his voice. His vocal characterization of a black man's voice annoying to say the least. And although its not the readers fault, the constant "I said," "he said" at the end of each sentence was very distracting. I would barely give this book a "one" and I definitely would recommend it to anyone.

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Among Parker's books, "Cold Service" starts a bit too procedural at times, as it spends too much time just serviceably moving the plot forward without adding all the personal insights, witty cultural comments and sharp interplay between the regular characters. Partly because sidekick Hawk takes a bigger role, and his character is based on cool strength and lack of emotion, the story takes a while to catch hold. But it does. For fans of the series, it focuses on this trusted, intuitive relationship between two macho guys, and for that, it's an interesting addition. But it's not the place to begin for a newcomer to the Spenser series.

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I really tried to like this book. I love Joe Mantegna as an actor, but he needs to stay in the acting arena and leave the book narration to the professionals. His delivery of what should have been hysterically funny lines laid flat on the recording studio floor.

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Mike McLaughlin

classic Parker. Once you get past the "he said"..."she said" It is one of his better books...the spencer/hawk relationship is at its best. And the addition of the other characters...Vinnie,Tony Marcus,Cholo....etc shows the reader how much the "Baddest of the Bad" respect Hawk and Spencer.

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Annise Henderson

I personally like books from this author. However, i don't like that he uses negative words for people of different races. I believe that he can get his point across without using those terms. Overall, I did enjoy the book. It keeps you wondering until the end and I always hate getting out of the car to go to work. But I know that I will be done with the book as soon as the day is over. As I have a 4 hour commute. I also like the way that he developed his characters and that the main ones are consistently in his books. You never have to wonder...what happened to spensers girlfriend or where is pearl the dog....

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Suzanne Stacy

Started out with too many I said, he saids; but, quickly got me caught up in the story and humor. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hated to pull into my driveway at the end of the day...I wanted to listen more!

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Jeff Johnson

I like most books by this author and this was no exception. Kept me interested throughout and I found myself looking forward to getting back in the car. Love the character and the narration was good as well. Love Spenser and Hawk. Found myself cheering them on while driving.

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I really didn't like listening to this audio. In fact, I only made it through the first cd. Perhaps an abridged audio would be tolerable, but I found the repeated "I said" "He said" too annoying to listen to.

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Gave more insight into Spencer's and Hawk's characters. Enjoyable as always.

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One of the best Spenser novels. The theme of political corruption and its ties to organized crime is one that grabs you in a visceral manner. I always find Hawk's 'hood dialogue overdone, especially since you know it is put on. The fact that Spenser tries to mimic him is a bit pathetic. That is the only recurring issue I have with this series. I enjoyed this book and have enjoyed many other Spenser novels. It's a good series.

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