Book Report: Now & Then by Robert B. Parker (2007)

This is the latest Spenser book. In it, Spenser gets tasked with finding out if a woman’s cheating on her husband; she is, and after Spenser reports to the husband, both the husband and wife are murdered. Spenser suspects he’s captured more than the infidelity on audiocassette, he’s determined to find out why.

Amazon reviewers give it a pretty good rating; Heather did not. I think it’s toward the lower half of the middle of the pack Spenser novels. Sometime in the middle 1980s, probably with Taming a Seahorse, Parker got very recursive with his Spenser novels. Suddenly, the plots are repeats or continuations of old cases, April Kyle, Paul Giacomin’s family, Gerry Broz, and whoever start cropping up with new problems, and the series folds on itself. This book, too, fits into that as events within the book are constantly referred back to A Catskill Eagle as motivation for Spenser, as if he needed more than the normal private eye impetus.

Aside from that, which I can sort of overlook, there’s a lot of background that’s not covered or only supplied as a prop. The main bad guy in this book is a violent radical out of the 1960s who uses violent means to fight the power. Which seems to mean Spenser, sort of, here. It’s a fairly stock now for the Spenser universe (see also Early Autumn, Looking for Rachel Wallace, Back Story). I mean, dang, I would love a little scam out of sheer greed.

But Dr. Parker’s getting up to 75 these days, so I guess I’ll take what I get.

Books mentioned in this review:

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