Promised Land by Robert B. Parker
(A Spenser Novel)

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Spenser is a wisecracking former boxer turned private investigator and he is just settling into his new office when enters Harv Shepard, a beleaguered businessman who is looking for someone to help locate his runaway wife. So begins Promised Land, the fourth novel by Robert Parker, that follows the exploits of his cerebral but tough character, detective Spenser. Why Harv Shepard's wife abandoned her family and exactly where she has gone comprise only half the intrigue in this story, though Spenser soon discovers that Harv is a man in deep trouble, involved with a crooked loan shark and tangled in an ailing business venture.

The real reason we keep turning the pages of Promised Land is because of the compelling figure cut by detective Spenser. The way in which he gets the information he gets about the case from police detectives, bartenders, and local thugs—Spenser’s unique bracing blend of irony and sincerity that almost never encourages the people he encounters to really like him--is as interesting as the information he gets.

Spenser is clever, often hilarious and his quips have something more than self-amusement as their end. Beneath the air of insouciant detachment and irony is a quixotic concern, as witnessed by his often self-sacrificing actions. The people Spenser meets often made predictable mistakes, falling into the same traps he has seen countless others fall into, and out of which they are mistakenly sure they can get out. Although he is weary of watching this pageant of human weakness and failure time and again, Spenser cannot help but become emotionally entangled in his cases, no matter how numbingly predictable they may be.


Robert B. Parker was one of contemporary fiction's most popular and respected detective writers. Best known for his portrayal of the tough but erudite investigator Spenser, Parker wrote over twenty-five novels over the course of his career, which began in 1973. Parker's acclaim and his thorough background in classic detective literature helped earn him the somewhat unusual commission of completing a Philip Marlowe novel that the great Raymond Chandler had left unfinished.

Promised Land and the other Spenser novels spawned the movie Spenser: For Hire and a string of made-for-TV movies.


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About Robert B. Parker

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Robert Brown Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1932. He received a B.A. from Colby College in 1954, served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and then returned to receive a M. A. in English literature from Boston University in 1957. He received a Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University in 1971. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1979, he taught at Lowell State College, Bridgewater State College and Northwestern University. In 1971, Parker published The Godwuff Manuscript, as homage to Raymond Chandler. The character he created, Spencer, became his own detective and was featured in more than 30 novels. His Spencer character has been featured in six TV movies and the television series Spencer: For Hire that starred Robert Urich and ran from 1985 to 1988. He is also the author of the Jesse Stone series, which has been made into a series of television movies for CBS, and the Sunny Randall series. His novel Appaloosa (2005) was made into a 2008 movie directed by and starring Ed Harris. He has received numerous awards for his work including an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1977 for The Promised Land, Grand Master Edgar Award for his collective oeuvre in 2002, and the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He died of a heart attack on January 18, 2010 at the age of 77.
Published July 1, 2010 by RosettaBooks. 228 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Law & Philosophy, Romance. Fiction

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