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Friday, 19 September 2008

WALKING SHADOW BY ROBERT B. PARKER



WALKING SHADOW
ROBERT B PARKER
BERKLEY $7.99
(American import copy - £6.99)

Although I've read a number of the author's westerns, I've never read any of the Spenser series prior to this book and this is the twenty first book to feature the wise guy PI. I'd always intended to check out these books as I'd read many good things about both the writer and the character. But for no particular reason I'd never taken the plunge until now.

And after reading this book I'm cursing the fact that I've such a lot of catching up to do - Spenser really is an addictive read.

The first person narrative is both light hearted and somehow deadly serious at the same time. There a lot of sexual sparring between the PI and voracious female cast and this makes for great reading.

The character of Spenser was new to me and coming in on book 21 didn't spoil my enjoyment but I'm going to try and read the series in the correct order from now on, not that the books can't be read as stand alones but I'd like to see the development of the character over the series of books.

Parker's been called a modern day Chandler and there is a hint of the great master, as well as a splodge of Hammett here but Parker creates an original voice from the sum of its parts.

For anyone, like me, just discovering the series the full list of Spenser books are reproduced below. And please check the seminal Bullet and Beer website for an encyclopaedia's worth of Spenser centric information.

Spenser Novels:

Title Year of Publication


The Godwulf Manuscript 1973
God Save the Child 1974
Mortal Stakes 1975
Promised Land 1976
The Judas Goat 1978
Looking for Rachel Wallace 1979
Early Autumn 1980
A Savage Place 1981
Ceremony 1982
The Widening Gyre 1983
Valediction 1984
A Catskill Eagle 1985
Taming a Sea Horse 1986
Pale Kings and Princes 1987
Crimson Joy 1988
Playmates 1989
Stardust 1990
Pastime 1991
Double Deuce 1992
Paper Doll 1993
Walking Shadow 1994
Thin Air 1995
Chance 1996
Small Vices 1997
Sudden Mischief 1998
Hush Money

1999

Hugger Mugger

2000

Potshot 2001
Widow's Walk 2002
Back Story 2003
Bad Business 2004
Cold Service 2005
School Days 2005
Hundred-Dollar Baby 2006
Now and Then 2007





The author runs his own blog and is well worth reading for information on his life as a writer and some interesting observations.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I read a few Spencer's years ago, and liked the TV series. I've heard his style is much more spare in his later Spencer books but I haven't read any of those. I'll check out his blog. Thanks for the link.