Monday, January 9, 2012

BACK STORY by Robert B. Parker



Robert B. Parker’s back Story is the 30th of the Spenser books. For me, it was one of the better later entries in the series.

A friend of Paul’s, a young woman who is a fellow dancer-actor, asks Spenser to find who killed her mother.

The crime happened twenty-eight years ago during a bank robbery.

Supposedly, the killing involved a radical group robbing banks as a social statement.

Of course, there is more than that involved. Spenser and Hawk end up killing several thugs. The local mob threatens Susan. Everything about the murder turns out NOT to be as it seemed.

This story has some milestones, most notably the introduction of Pearl II, the second of Spenser and Susan’s dogs.

Spenser and Hawk work with Jesse Stone, Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief. As most know, Stone is the main character in another Parker series.

If you like clear justice in your detective stories, this book will not satisfy. There are at least two major principles in the Spenser series: (1) Spenser “solves” the case by pushing in and blundering through; and (2) Things don’t always turn out in a neat, packaged way.

I admire Robert B. Parker. His Spenser books became more routine as the series progressed, but they were still good reading. When you bought a Spenser you knew what kind of plot and style you would get. And you could enjoy them within that context.

Few writers build the kind of legacy Robert B. Parker built.  

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