Cold Service – by Robert B. Parker

Reviewed by Jack Hadley
Owner-operator, Schneider National

Listening Time: 6 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Retail: $29.95
Genre: Mystery

Plot: When detective Spenser’s closest friend Hawk is shot while acting as a bodyguard for a big-time bookie in Boston, Spenser begins the task of rehabilitating his buddy. Hawk, who has never been dependant on anyone, must now accept his physical recovery, aided by his friend, and develop an emotional tie he has never wanted or experienced. Spenser learns of the Ukrainian connection from the bodega to the police force to the mayor’s office. He employs questioning techniques, while redefining the friendship with Hawk.

What was your favorite moment? When Hawk takes out the police chief and mayor, so he can get to the head thug in the Ukrainian circle.

Which character was your favorite? Hawk, a man’s fighter willing to take it to the bad guys without hesitation. Doing it to others before they can do it to you – a true survivalist.

Does the book have a message or theme? The good guy always wins, but only if he acts first and asks questions later. To heck with acting like a gentleman in perilous times.

What did you like or dislike? The action can be seen as pictures in your head while you listen. The story is very easy to follow, almost as if you are one of the cast but without any dialogue.

Would you recommend?: Yes. It’s good entertainment and brings back memories of the TV series Spencer for Hire, for those old enough to remember.

Narrator’s style: Joe Mantegna always had a great voice for each character in the book. Always the same every time.

How would you grade the book? A

Notables: Speak of the Devil – by Richard Hawke
At the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Fritz Malone spots a gunman across the crowded street, taking aim with a Beretta. Seconds later, the air is filled with bullets and blood.

Fritz isn’t one to stand around and watch. A child of Hell’s Kitchen and the illegitimate son of a beloved former police commissioner, Fritz is all too familiar with the city’s rougher side. As the gunman flees into the park, Fritz runs after him.

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The cops hustle Fritz from the scene and deliver him to the office of the current commissioner, who informs him that someone dubbed “Nightmare” has been taunting the city’s leaders for weeks, warning of an imminent attack on the citizenry. What’s worse, Nightmare has already let the officials know that the parade gunman was a mere foot soldier and that there’s more carnage to come unless the city meets his impossible demands. The politicians don’t dare share this information with anyone – not even the NYPD. What they need for this job is in outside man. And in Fritz they think they’ve got one.

Abridged on 6 CDs
Retail: $29.95
Random House Audio

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