Monday, October 08, 2012

much more than murder

Title: Bad Business
Author: Robert B. Parker
Bookmark: leather bookmark from University Hospital's Ireland Cancer Center (I got it with purchase of Lisa's Story)

Spenser is one of Parker's longest-running heroes.  I don't think his first name is ever mentioned, he doesn't seem to age, and apparently the characters that surround and support him are equally immortal.  I surmise a little here, because I think this is the only Spenser book I've read, but I have it on good authority.

In this case, Spenser is hired to discover who killed Trent Rowley, CFO of a major energy borker called Kinergy, in the halls of the business.  His wife wants to know who did it, but she mostly wants Spenser to prove she had nothing to do with it.  This gives you a good sense for the wife's (Marlene) character.  Trust me, she never gets more likable, and isn't meant to.

It doesn't take Spenser (and his buddy Hawk, and World's Greatest CPA Marty, and Spenser's longtime girlfriend Susan, who turns out to be the shrink from another Parker series) long to figure out that there's shady things happening at Kinergy, and far more than you might think, even knowing there'd just been a murder there.

Ably assisted by his merry band, Spenser uncovers extremely iffy bookkeeping, a large and prospering sex ring, and what may be the mother of all long cons.

I wasn't really interested in Spare Change.  I enjoyed reading it, but when I finished it, I didn't feel an urgent need to go hunt down another Sunny Randall mystery.  Spenser is a different matter.  I like the character, his style, and his voice.  He reacts to jokes that other people don't realize they make, and plays word games with as much self-serving vigor as me, plus he's a total badass, with friends who are also total badasses, even if I didn't learn much about them in this episode.

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posted by reyn at 7:53 AM


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