Sunday, July 18, 2010
THE WIDENING GYRE by Robert B. Parker
In The Widening Gyre by Robert B. Parker, Spenser's relationship with Susan begins to fall apart.
This book was the beginning of a part of the series where I became less interested in Spenser. The books began to center more on the change that occurred between Susan and Spenser than they did on Spenser's role as a detective.
Most of us who have read the series know the two of them come back to a middle ground where Spenser can be Spenser (a hopeless classical romantic in his love for Susan), and Susan can be Susan. But for me, the stories suffered as that happened.
Here Spenser hires on as a security consultant with a fundamentalist Christian political candidate. Spenser is already drinking, aware of his changing relationship with Susan.
The initial job morphs into something more traditional. Spenser works to ferret out those attempting to bribe the candidate with indiscreet tapes of the candidate's wife. And this leads to the mobster Joe Broz.
The story itself is ordinary. One of the more interesting characters is Paul Giacomin, the young man Spenser rescued in Early Autumn. Paul's support might be all that gets Spenser through this period of his life.
Spenser's relationship with Broz is also interesting. Broz will have a role in future books.
At one point, Spenser takes an almost-suicidal risk.
For me, this book and the next two or three brought me to a turning point. I quit reading Spenser for a while and then returned to the later books.
Finally, I went back and read many of the books I'd missed.
I've already started the next book, Valediction.