Friday, February 18, 2011

CHANCE by Robert B. Parker



I think  I've hit a string of pretty average Spenser novels.

Some people are incredibly stupid, and that is especially dangerous when you're dealing with the mob. That's the premise of Robert B. Parker's Chance.

Julius Ventura of the Boston mob hires Spenser to find his son-in-law who has run away.  His son-in-law, a special kind of loser, has skimmed money, not just from Ventura, but from other even more vicious mobsters. He hopes to use the stolen money to break the bank at a Vegas casino. But that's not the issue for Julius.  His issue is that his daughter wants her husband back, and what his daughter wants, Julius' wife insists that Julius try to provide.

The whole investigation leads to a myriad of mob ins and outs.  It also ends with several dead bodies including the body of Ventura's daughter. 

The son-in-law is not only stupid about gambling.  He is stupid about his choice of what woman to run away with too.

Only near the end do we know how all the mob relationships work.  And only when we know how those relationships work, do we know exactly what happened.

So this is a book with a fairly complex plot wrapped up in the usual Robert B. Parker straight-through narrative and pithy dialog.

Unfortunately, I didn't much care about most of the characters in the book.  As always, I found the book to be an easy read.  And because I've read many other Spensers past this one in the series, I expect to find some better books along the way. 

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