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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rough Weather (Spenser mystery) by Robert B. Parker



Strong start. Best Spenser novel in a while.

Robert B. Parker 
(1932-2010)
By my count Rough Weather may be the 35th Spenser novel. As others have noted, the traditional elements of a Spenser novel are here - Susan and Spenser's deep discussions about Spenser's code of honor, Spenser and Hawk trading witty banter, Spenser pulling at the loose ends of the case until someone tries to kill him. It's a formula, but I like the formula.

The book starts out differently and with much more action than is normal in a Spenser book and I'd give the first half 5 stars. But it eventually slows down to the point that I'd give the last half a mere 3 stars. Thus, the average score is the final score - 4 stars.

Interestingly, Rough Weather is the only Spenser book that I can remember that actually mentions time passing as the series progresses. Spenser notes to Rita Fiore that she's been pursuing him for 20 years. Hawk and Susan also make some sort of comments as well. Will Spenser ever age? No, I'm sure not. One of the early novels mentions that Spenser was at the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War (1950). That makes Spenser at least 76 years old in Rough Weather. Good thing he doesn't age - how sad would that fistfight be?

Spenser notes that he reads the newspaper every morning: "Every year there were more stories about shoes, and celebrities, and hot restaurants, so every year I read less." Amen to that.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Rough Weather.

Reviewed on January 15, 2009.

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