I actually ordered Cold Service from Amazon, so I’m a week late in reading it. But I read it in a single night, as is my wont. It helps that the books are thick, but the print is large and the most of the book is dialogue.
The plot basically recycles Small Vices and Pale Kings and Princes in that Hawk gets shot, almost dies, and when he recuperates, he and Spenser will pit the various organized crime elements against each other to get revenge on the gang who shot Hawk and the people whom he was protecting (some bodyguard–sorry, that’s A Savage Place).
The same knocks I make on Crais novels I can make on Parker in the last couple of years. The plot centers on a favor for a friend instead of a case, it features a problem and not a mystery, and it features an ethnic gang of the month (Ukrainians). Still, I was partly raised by Robert B. Parker since I read the best of the Spenser novels in my fatherless formative years, so I give him a little more leeway for the books he phones in.
Still, I enjoyed the book well enough, but I’d prefer to see Spenser work on some cases, not some guerilla campaigns against organized crime.