ROBERT B PARKER
(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.
|Title||Year of Publication|
|The Godwulf Manuscript||1973|
|God Save the Child||1974|
|The Judas Goat||1978|
|Looking for Rachel Wallace||1979|
|A Savage Place||1981|
|The Widening Gyre||1983|
|A Catskill Eagle||1985|
|Taming a Sea Horse||1986|
|Pale Kings and Princes||1987|
|Hush Money|| |
|Hugger Mugger|| |
|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.