Thursday, March 8, 2012

COLD SERVICE by Robert B. Parker

Robert B. Parker’s Cold Service is Hawk’s story.

Members of the Ukrainian mob shoot Hawk in the back while Hawk is protecting another mobster. Hawk barely survives.

Then, acting on the old saying, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” Hawk and Spenser set out to kill the Ukrainians.

The story involves their complex plot that sets Boston-area mobs against one another. Spenser works with The Gray Man. The Gray Man almost killed Spenser in Small Vices.

This time The Gray Man is on Spenser’s side, or at least The Gray Man is working for someone whose interests coincide with Spenser’s interests.

Parker fills the book with introspective talk about what it means to be a killer. Hawk’s lover Cecile struggles with Hawk’s willingness to kill.

I suspect Cold Service is a book most readers either like or hate. There’s little in-between. The dialogue is rife with psychological introspection. Susan attempts to explain why she stays with Spenser. Some may believe Parker stereotypes races and certain kinds of women.

I tend to take stories as they are. This book has the same sharp, conversational style Spenser stories always have. I could do with less psychology, but I liked the book.

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