Tuesday, February 15, 2011

THIN AIR by Robert B. Parker

I prefer Robert B. Parker when he is doing straight-through narration.  Parker is best when he writes everything from Spenser's point of view.  He tells the story from beginning to end.

This book is not that way.  Here, Spenser's cop-friend Frank Belson's kidnapped wife gets half the point-of-view. I found her part less interesting.  She gave away the story before Spenser worked it out.

Not that this book was fatally flawed.  It just wasn't the straight-through Parker that some of the others are.

In this book, Spenser had a different sidekick too. Spenser enlists Chollo, an enforcer from the L.A. mob. 

Along the way, the troubled kidnapper guns down Frank Belson, seriously but not fatally wounding him. Spenser enlists the help of several mob figures with whom he has become at least working friends over the years.  And Spenser also uses one part of the Latino San Juan Hill mob against the other.

The story ends with an assault upon the fortress where her former lover holds Lisa captive.  And even that works out in an unusual way.

Belson's wife Lisa St. Clair is a strong character. She has overcome abuse and abandonment. She has risen above her past.  She is focused and determined even in the midst of her humiliating captivity.

But all in all, I didn't find this story as interesting as some of the other Spenser stories.

I admire Parker as a writer.  His body of work is amazing, and as I recall it, in all the time I've been reading Parker, I only found one book where I felt he didn't give me my money's worth. (It tells something about how much I like the Spenser stories, that I can't tell you which book that was right now.)

So my wife and I keep on working our way straight through the Spenser stories. 

I thank God for Robert B. Parker.  He has given me a lot of good reading over a whole lot years.
We bought this paperback book at a local bookstore which sells used books.

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