Read Chance by Robert B. Parker Online


Mafia princess Shirley Meeker wants her husband back. So does her father the kingpin and a few other shady characters. Spenser and hawk head to Vegas to find Anthony Meeker and to confirm their suspicion that all these people aren't just missing Anthony's smile. And Spenser has to make some sense of some very disorganized crime......

Title : Chance
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425157473
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Chance Reviews

  • Kemper
    2019-04-10 11:56

    After being released from prison, Spenser decides to rob three Las Vegas casinos and recruits ten other guys to help him …. Oh, wait. That’s the plot of Ocean’s 11.OK…Spenser’s friend Doug is getting married and the groomsmen go to Vegas for a bachelor party but someone doses them with ruffies so they can’t remember a wild night and they can’t find Doug. Spenser and the others have a hilarious adventure trying to retrace their steps….Damn. That was The Hangover.Uh…Susan breaks up with Spenser and Hawk tries to cheer him up by taking him to Sin City while repeatedly shouting, “Vegas, baby, Vegas!”… Nope. That‘s a part of Swingers.The mob puts Spenser in charge of one of their casinos, but Hawk screws everything up by coming to town and acting like a gangster?...No, now I'm mixing it up with CasinoThis has got to be it…Spenser has become a pathetic drunk determined to drink himself to death so….Shit. That’s the story in Leaving Las Vegas. (Not to be confused with the Sheryl Crow song.)Damn, but there’s been so many stories set in Vegas that it gets confusing after a while…How about…. Spenser gets hired by a Boston mobster to locate his daughter’s missing husband? And he learns the hubby had a gambling problem and had been talking about hitting the casinos of Vegas so Spenser journeys to Sin City along with Hawk and Susan and proceeds to get entangled in a confusing mess of mob alliances? That sounds right.This one started exceptionally strong with Hawk essentally arranging this job for Spenser, and one gets the sense he mainly did it for his own amusement to watch Spenser have to deal with the gruff mobster. It also established one of my favorite supporting characters in the Spenserverse with Gino Fish, the leader of a large faction of Boston’s organized crime who has a great vocabulary and is openly gay. Spenser’s old frenemy Vinnie Morris has gone to work for Gino and the pair of them would show up in several more Parker books. There’s another interesting introduction to Bernard J. Fortunato, a Vegas private detective short on stature but long on attitude.Unfortunately, while the book starts well, it fades a bit in Act 2 when Spenser actually gets to Vegas. Instead of prowling a seedy underworld of gamblers and hustlers, Spenser and Hawk end up mostly tailing people through the large casino hotels on the Strip and making fun of the tourists. While Spenser makes a few literate observations about the nature of Vegas, the setting really doesn’t add much to the story. It’s almost as if Parker decided to do a book about Spenser in Vegas, but then didn’t know what to do with him once he got him there Still, it’s one of the better books of the later Spenser novels, and it’s pretty entertaining overall. Plus, Susan is only moderately annoying in this one.Next up: Spenser gets shot full of holes in Small Vices.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-04-01 04:08

    This isn’t a bad Spenser book. At least not according to the average quality of the middle third of the series. Pearl the Wonder Dog isn’t in it much, Susan isn’t all that irritating either. And Vinny makes an appearance, which is always a plus. But its plot meanders though an increasingly muddied landscape, and little about it sticks in the mind.Julius Ventura, Boston mob big shot and doting father, asks Spenser to look for Anthony, his daughter Shirley’s missing husband. Spenser agrees, against his better judgment; he senses that Julius isn’t telling him everything, and what he isn’t saying may be very bad news. He soon learns that Boston’s crime world may be experiencing growing pains, and that Anthony’s disappearance may the key to what exactly is making it grow.One of the pleasures of this novel is that it reveals, in greater detail, the criminal factions that have been operating in the background of Spenser's universe since the beginning: the aging, now ineffectual boss Joe Broz, disappointed by his incompetent son; the increasingly powerful well-dressed, well-spoken "fairy" Gino Fish, urbane and ruthless as a shark; the now weakened black mob, once led by Tony Marcus (recently sent to prison by Spenser), Mr. Lee the Tong Lord; and now a contingent of Russian from New York, eager to expand their area of influence. There is a nice irony at the end too. Spenser the White Knight, who has spent most of the book taking pains to save a woman who does not want to be saved, executes a bit of hard justice: he abandons someone to the horror of mob justice and doesn’t bat an eye. Makes you wonder about this whole “white knight” thing, now, don’t it?

  • William
    2019-04-17 05:20

    (The word "maroon" appears 3 times in this novel)Great fun. A return to form for Parker. Complex noir, with thugs, Las Vegas, and a femme fatale.After the previous 1-star book Thin Air, this is a joy to read. Much of the young Spenser is here, aged as would be natural. Susan is illuminating in some places, but mostly irritating, sadly. And the "wonder dog" is like a small, too-frequent pothole in the plot. The action sequences are fewer than early-Spenser, but mostly well done, especially the Russians in Cambridge.Spenser's good heart is shown well in this book, solid and genuine - one of the most endearing qualities of the character.About 2/3 the way through, the story seems to almost end, unresolved. Only knowing the 70+ pages left clues you to the satisfying resolution to come. Hurray!I also love the philosophical Parker, which we have not seen much of, in the recent previous books.Watching her I felt the little knot in my stomach that I always felt when I left her. She walked a ways down the concourse, and looked back and waved and then turned a corner and was out of sight. I still stood for a moment, looking at the last place I had seen her, being careful not to be routine, while I became the other guy again, the one I was without her. It took a couple of minutes. And then I was him. He wasn’t a bad guy; in fact sometimes I thought he had strengths that the other guy didn’t have. Certainly he wasn’t worse. But he was no one I wanted to be all the time.--I parked in the town lot and got out and walked around to Dixie’s side of the car. She sat still in the front seat and didn’t get out. I opened the door. She still sat without moving. “Care to dine?” I said. She looked up at me and I realized she was crying. “Or not,” I said. “You don’t have to pay me off,” she said, “just because I showed you where Anthony lived.” “I know,” I said. “But I like your company.” “Are you going to expect anything after?” “No.” Dixie sat staring straight ahead. She sniffed a little as she cried. “It’s been a long time,” she said, “since anyone took me to dinner.” “Well, let’s try it,” I said. “If you like it we can do it again.” She nodded and got out of the car while I held the door. The food in the restaurant wasn’t too good, but we had a pretty nice time.Notes -22.0% "... yet another Buick following Spenser. Hahahahaaaaha"22.0% "... the story is moving along well, but some of the characters are sliding into caricature." 53.0% ".... wow, nice plot twists!" 57.0% ".... the little thug Bernie working for Marty reminds me of Harry Jones (Elisha Cook Jr) in The Big Sleep..."

  • Brent Soderstrum
    2019-04-17 03:53

    This is book #23 of Parker's Spenser series and this one tends to be a little confusing. Read it in a few days so you keep all the characters straight. This book starts out with Spenser being hired by one mobster to find his son-in-law who has disappeared-for his daughter's sake. The son-in-law was working for daddy transporting money between mobsters and then he is gone. Anthony loves to gamble (and he is bad at it) and messes around on Shirley quite a bit. Spenser heads to Vegas and things get messy. It really becomes a mob mess with Spenser and Hawk trying to figure out who did what to whom. Typical Spenser book with the enjoyable banter between Hawk and Spenser. No mystery here unless you look to the mystery of figuring out the inter-mob connections and the internal scams going on within the various tough guy factions.

  • Bodosika Bodosika
    2019-04-08 10:22

    Interesting and a short read!

  • Gary
    2019-04-01 07:02

    Enjoyable if a little repetitious a few times, if a little less like the zip-bang story of two super heroes - it sort of meanders across a flatlands area.

  • Cornelis Broekhof
    2019-04-12 04:17

    The Spenser formula never fails to entertain. I am finding that I increasingly enjoy reading about the lives and relationships of the main characters - Spenser, Susan, Hawk, Pearl the Wonderdog. The conversations between Spenser and Susan are always witty, sexy and insightful and the interchanges between Spenser and Hawk are always good for a laugh, if only because of their politically corrext racist humor. And within the stories there are sometimes sidelines that touch you in a way you would never expect in a detective story. In this story it is the scene where Spenser asks Dixie, the unhappy waitress from a topless bar who has shown Spenser the way to her ex-lover's appartment, to have dinner together, no return favors expected. Dixie starts to cry, because it has been such a long time since a man asked her out for dinner. There is a whole world of sadness behind such a seemingly insignificant scene. By the way, a thing I don't understand about all these Goodreads reviews is that so many people add a summary of the story. Why is that? I am sure that these reviews are read almost exclusively by people who - like me - know the story already and who are therefore more interested in what other people think about the book than in reading yet another plot summary.

  • Dr T
    2019-04-21 06:07

    Wow! another thoroughly enjoyable book in the late Robert B. Parker's Spemcer series. It had been a few years since I read my last Spenser novel, and I was quickly reminded of why I have enjoyed the series so much. This one involved a search for a major Boston mobster's daughter's husband, and quickly became a much more complex case, involving warring mob factions and extending to mob activities in Las Vegas, where much of the action takes place. Of course Hawk and Susan are involved, and the not-particularly-subtle humor that marks this series was a constant feature. Of course the Spenser team wins through at the end (if that's a spoiler, then you are unfamiliar with the series!), requiring the usual deductive reasoning and fighting. Parker is truly missed. The series is being continued, but I haven't tried any of these later efforts as yet.

  • Mike
    2019-04-21 05:54

    So-so Spenser story concerning a crime boss looking for his spoiled daughter's missing hubby. The wayward guy carries money between crime groups and has a weakness big time for gambling. An inevitable trip to Vegas ensues, with a little more fisticuffs and gun play than in the previous few novels.

  • David
    2019-03-27 09:16

    This Spenser novel is better than some I've read. There is a coherent plot, an actual mystery, and the tough guy vs. tough guy dialogue and activity actually makes sense as Spenser goes up against a number of mobsters as the story progresses. As usual, the novel is marred by the author's obsession of using descriptions of food, meals, etc. as filler material in a lame attempt to set the scene.This made sense is one scene where Spenser takes his client to a nice restaurant and how they both seemed out of place, though Spenser was ordering a fancy dish and describes what the dish is. However, it just gets annoying to me in the other places where he spends time discussing things like a bakery basket in a coffee shop, the sandwich Hawk is eating, the donuts his girlfriend brings to his office, This is supposed to be a detective novel, but if this one was adapted to film including all the food references-- it really could be televised on the food channel-- yes there are that many references.. I know because I circled those references as I came across them so I could reference them here....Here-- I'll show you:Chapter Three: The bakery basketChapter Eight: The lunch scene with the client, the only food reference/ scene that truly furthers the plotChapter Eleven: Eating Chinese takeout-- girlfriend feeds Peking ravioli to the dog while Spenser eats chicken with cashews-- doesn't really serve to provide any real flavor (pun intended) to the settingChapter Twenty-two: Eating with another character Spenser orders a Roman salad while questioning her-- (She eats a cheeseburger)-- in the middle of the conversation, the author takes the time to have the waiter bring the food so he can tell the reader what a Roman salad was.. I didn't care and was annoyed by the break in the conversation.Chapter Thirty: Girlfriend brings donuts back to the office-- a conversation about how to properly eat the donuts takes place.. might provide insight into the relationship between the characters... slowed the story for me.Chapter thirty-six: Takes a prospective informant to lunch, and for once doesn't elaborate on the food. Thank you, Mr. Parker, for the break from the food network.Chapter Forty: Hawk brings a lobster, basil mayo, on Sourdough breakfast to the officeChapter Forty-three: Dinner with the girlfriend provides the setting for a discussion about how the detectives should proceed. Steaks vs. seafood platter is discussed.Chapter Forty-six: Airline food is criticized and discussed. Possibly the only other place in the book where a discussion of the food makes sense.. When you fly in first class you might describe the food to those you are telling the story to.. Still, served to slow the book down for me.Chapter Fifty-Two: Cooking beans and cornbread is discussed The author seems to feel that about the only two places people actually exchange information have to be over food or alcohol. While there is some semblance to reality in this, the author doesn't need to describe every meal his characters encounter. It is almost as if the author learned that if he ordered a lobster sandwich, and then wrote about it in his book, he could use that expense as a deduction as a business expense. Either that, or the author, a large man based on the dust cover of the hardbound copy, really, really enjoys his food and expects the reader to be delighted with his description of various foods, etc. Now, with all that complaining aside, the author managed to provide an intriguing mystery, even if Spenser's actions at times are a little overly full of bravado, etc. Spenser keeps trying to be the knight in shining armor-- well-- with all that eating-- his armor is starting to get a few nasty crimps in it.

  • Gregory Drake
    2019-03-31 06:56

    Love reading Parker's Spenser novels, especially when his compadre Hawk is also involved with the "nitty gritty." This was my 3rd reading of this novel, according to my notes. Read 1st time back in May 2001, then again in January 2005.One can descern differences in his writing these tales over the years, since he did pen many, many Spenser tales. There have been times when I haven't always liked the complete plot lines of one of these novels, but have always loved the Spencer & Hawk style(s) when they were together on a case, whether working for a paying client or on their own trying to right a wrong. Even Susan plays a valuable role in this story that goes back and forth between Boston and Las Vegas. (haven't always cared for her character in these novels, but she is indeed an integral part of Spenser's life for many years.)And, as usual, with Parker's novels, this one was a relatively quick read over a few days, less than a week. My father used to love reading these Spenser stories, and I believe that was one of the reasons that he liked reading the hard backs .... a quick read, large enough print to easily see, and plenty of space in the margins and between lines/paragraphs. Since he was getting older back in the early to mid 2000's, these hard back setups made reading for him a pleasure; as well as, Parker's comedy writing of Spenser's humorous banter with everybody in his life, from close buddies to the bad guys.

  • Joe
    2019-03-27 03:57

    Not one of Parker's most profound episodes but I still like Spenser's brand of doing the right thing and follow through that demonstrates his respect for individuals and culture. He supports everybody's right to proceed with their own version of success or folly and thereby has created a stand for himself in the industry as formidable and upright.Spenser steps into the middle of a fiasco and simply eliminates his opponent's (definition of opponent: non-client) advantage in order to let the chips fall as they may. The opponent gets what's coming to him... justice is served.I appreciated Parker's nod to feminism. Spenser has a dilemma where women have had their lives suppressed under oppressive relationships. The women are breaking free. Spenser to the rescue, right? Not quite so. Spenser, somewhat paternalistic, demonstrates that nobody can do anything on their own in his complete reliance on Hawk while he helps open the door to the woman's freedom. Parker leaves Spenser in a bit of a quandary that the woman feels manipulated by Spenser and leaves it a bit open ended for the reader to contemplate Spenser's part in supporting or coercing an outcome. A good book. A great author.

  • Joy
    2019-03-30 04:07

    I almost gave this book five stars because it was just so refreshing tobe reading a Spenser book again, but there are some I've liked more.This book involves kidnapping and Las Vegas gambling. It was an insiderlook at 'counting' cards. There were refreshing observations: All rockmusic sounded to me like glass being ground. There was wisdom: Youcan't help people who don't want to help you. There was wit: Spenser:"There's a gun on your belt, right side. Take it out with the first twofingers of your right hand. Two fingers only. I see more than two andyour brains will make a very small mess on the sidewalk." There wasnew vocabulary: Susan: "Had I been a lascivious Irish shrink, wouldyou have loved me anyway?" Spenser: "The answer is Yes, but I thinkyou've just coined a tripertite oxymoron." There was useful dialogue:"Did you enjoy your meal, sir?" she said to Hawk. "Horse died hard,"Hawk said.

  • Cornmaven
    2019-04-12 11:08

    Of course I give this book 5 stars, it's iconic Robert B Parker. I wish I could take a class of middle schoolers and read his YA novels to them and discuss the life lessons he imparts. Love it, love it, love it, because it is always done in a really calm way. In Spenser's world, all the people that matter are always perfect. That's what makes these books so fun. You know that's not real life, but it's OK. Mostly Parker speaks to boys who are figuring things out and who might be inclined to fly off the handle in certain circumstances. He shows them ways and reasons not to, and I think that's good.The only downfall to Parker's young adult novels are the titles; I don't think they will appeal to YAs as much as he thinks they will. And that will hurt the opportunities for kids to experience his wisdom.

  • J.D.
    2019-04-01 08:07

    There is nothing special or different about these"stories" but I never get tired of Spenser, Susan and Hawk's interactions.

  • Canavan
    2019-04-18 09:54


  • Steve
    2019-04-01 11:07

    I don't remember reading this one before. Great novel that takes place mostly in Las Vegas. Hawk is in this one, so I get plenty of the dialogue I love! Great last book for 2015!

  • Carol
    2019-03-27 10:19

    I read it and said to myself, this is a keeper. Then I went back and read it again. It's still a keeper.

  • Eric Plume
    2019-04-10 08:17

    Parker didn't write this book. He assembled it from a kit based in books he'd written previous. Still a good novel, but I wish The Man had put some proper effort into it.

  • Betty Day
    2019-04-03 06:18

    O.K. . . . Spenser got a big insurance gob of money from a job for them . . . that would keep him for a while . . . then he gets $100K for giving up Anthony . . . so I guess he's in the money and doesn't have to work so hard . . . he's still not Jesse and Hawk is still not Crow . . . just not enough there to care about . . . 'course, the characters are all from the bad-guy side of town . . . none of them very likable . . . leaves me not very interested in what happens next . . .

  • Nancy Shaffer
    2019-04-17 09:55

    My friend loves his books. I'm not as impressed.

  • Holly Wilson
    2019-04-03 12:18

    Very quick read. Like the characters. Only impossible one is dear Susan. She lives on a male pedestal, but otherwise good book.

  • Barb
    2019-03-27 07:56

    I love to read Robert Parker's Spenser novels.

  • David
    2019-04-14 03:55


  • Boulder Boulderson
    2019-03-26 09:05

    Pretty good as far as these go. There's a disappointingly small number of confrontations and amount of casual violence; the climax is great though so its worth reading if you're a Spenser fan.

  • Cherie In the Dooryard
    2019-04-19 05:17

    One of the best Spensers I've read in a while. Not too much Susan, lots of Hawk (though he wasn't given much to do) and an actual compelling plot. One star taken off for that continued fetish with how Susan eats. I do like how Parker allows their relationship to mature, however.

  • Shuriu
    2019-03-28 04:52

    We put our arms around each other and kissed each other gently. This kiss was loving but not big and smoochy. Susan never did big smoochy kisses while wearing lipstick. "You got your ticket," I said. She held up the ticket which she had in her left hand. Then she put her right hand on my face for a moment and turned and went through the gate. Watching her I felt the little knot in my stomach that I always felt when I left her. She walked a ways down the concourse, and looked back and waved and then turned a corner and was out of sight. I still stood for a moment, looking at the last place I had seen her, being careful not to be routine, while I became the other guy again, the one I was without her. It took a couple of minutes. And then I was him. He wasn't a bad guy; in fact sometimes I thought he had strengths that the other guy didn't have . Certainly he wasn't worse. But he was no one I wanted to be all the time. (p. 121) I didn't say anything. You do it long enough and you get a sense when somebody is at the start of a long talk. The best thing is to give them space and wait for them to fill it. (p. 140)There was a lot of energy on the Strip but it was feverish, the kind of energy that makes you sleepless, that makes you drive too fast, and chain-smoke, and drink heavy. The Strip was choked with people in dogged search of fun, looking for the promise of Vegas that had brought them all from Keokuk and Presque Isle and North Platte. It wasn't like it was supposed to be. It wasn't the adventure of a lifetime, but it had to be. You couldn't admit that it wasn't. You'd come too far, expected too much, planned too long. If you stayed up later, played harder, gambled bigger, looked younger, saw another show, had another drink, stretched out a little further . . . (p. 275) "What are we having with the beans and corn bread?" "I got four venison chops," I said. "They've been marinating in red wine and rosemary." "Dessert?" "Bread pudding with whisky sauce." "God," Susan said. "I won't be able to walk." "How about other activity." "Anything prone is fine," Susan said. "My feelings exactly." (p. 306)

  • Karen
    2019-04-01 12:17

    Paperback Book Swap

  • Charles
    2019-04-15 09:08

    This story is one of the most convoluted Spenser novels. One of the major figures of organized crime in the Boston area hires Spenser to locate the husband of his only daughter, but only after Hawk turned him down. While Spenser agrees to take the job, it is clear that he is not hearing the entire story. The missing man is Anthony Meeker, and once Spenser starts his probe, he learns that Anthony, “is as dumb as a rake handle.” People who have encountered Anthony refer to him as “phony Tony”, and it doesn’t take long for Spenser to realize that Anthony was a bag man who carried out money transfers between crime groups. It is also obvious that Tony skimmed some of the money, as he announced that he had a system to beat Las Vegas and when he got back he would be worth a fortune.Spenser and Hawk then depart for Vegas and learn that there is a lot of genetic material being exchanged between various wives and husbands. They also learn that there is a budding turf war about to erupt among the various leaders of the organized crime groups in the Boston area. Joe Broz, an old adversary of Spenser’s and the major crime boss, is retiring and he has no worthy heir. Therefore, many of the players are running duplicitous ploys against each other, jockeying for position. Spenser even has a frank discussion with Joe Broz about what is going on.Of course, Spenser and Hawk finally determine what is actually going on and Spenser finds a way to make sure the guilty parties are punished. The story is a little bit difficult to follow at times, simply because there are so many persons and groups of interest. The dialog is not as crisp or humorous as it is in the best Spenser novels, but it is quite good. This is also the book that introduces Bernard J. Fortunato, a Vegas private investigator who reappears as a Spenser ally in a later story. This review also appears on Amazon

  • Holli
    2019-04-17 06:55

    The book was good but after a while of everything going on in the story, I needed a flowchart to keep it all straight. I got lost at least once with who was after whom and what their stake in it was. I think this book suffered a bit from too much going on for me to keep up with.The "prologue" of this book made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The book would have been fine without it. Or, at the very least, some explanation as to who it's about and why it's there. Otherwise, it wasn't needed and just left me puzzled as I waited for it to connect to the story and make sense. Never did.Much as I like some of her interactions with Spenser, I find Susan majorly annoying. She's basically a sounding board for Spenser and comedy relief at times, but not always successful at the funny part. I love how people want Spenser to find someone, but don't want him investigating anything to do so for whatever reason. And Spenser always having such a nice comeback that shows these twerps just how stupid they are. I love that about him.And, we have Hawk back at last. I've missed him. He's always a fun addition to the books. I love his interactions with Spenser. They forever leave me laughing once those two start picking on each other.