After an auspicious beginning in The Godwulf Manuscript, Parker writes a more ordinary story in his second Spenser outing.
Hired to find a kidnapped child, Spenser bumbles around spending much of his time being the bodyguard for the boy's grossly unlikable and self-absorbed mother.
This story is filled with slimy people.
The highlight of the story, of course, is that this book introduces us to Susan Silverman. She is a school counselor who has strong feelings for Spenser because he is what he is--a principled, good looking thug.
In the end, Spenser's thuggishness wins out. He thrashes a massive, but inept, weightlifter in a Herculean fistfight.
It amazes me that I can still remember much of these stories though I first read them more than thirty years ago.
I had forgotten how much Parker's writing changed over the years. By the end, it was lean and spare.
The early stories are filled with detailed description of Boston and the people with whom Spenser comes into contact.
Both kinds of stories are good reading.
My wife and I decided to make our way through the Spenser saga one more time. So far, we are both enjoying the trip.