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Monday, June 18, 2012

God Save the Child (audiobook) (Spenser #2) by Robert B. Parker

Good Early Spenser novel

Published August 1st 1988 by Books on Tape, Inc.
Read by Michael Prichard
Duration: 5 hours, 3 minutes

Robert B. Parker and Tony Hillerman are the two authors I most consistently check when I go to a library or a bookstore. When it is a great day, one of the two has a new book. When it is a tremendous day, they both have a new one out and I have to decide which to read first!

In the meantime, I am making do by going back over their collected works as books on tape. I have a long drive to work every day and Spenser makes a very good ride-along companion. I have long-since read all of the older Spenser books, but the beautiful thing about a faulty memory is that the plot lines get a bit hazy over time and now I can enjoy them all over again!

Besides, it is always interesting to see how the reader interprets Spenser and the gang. One of the best to capture Spenser smart-aleck comments was Burt Reynolds, although his interpretation of Hawk was pleasurable, but questionable in terms of accent.

The reader for this version was a Michael Prichard. His interpretation of Spenser was neither here nor there, neither good nor bad. However, his reading of the Mrs. Bartlett was right on the money. Here's the scoop on Mrs. Bartlett: She and her husband hire Spenser to find her son. He is missing and a note has been sent to the Bartletts asking for $50,000 for his safe return. This book was written in 1974 when $50,000 was a whole lot of money. Mrs. Bartlett is an insipid, vapid twit of the first order. A woman more concerned with fashion than her child's safety. She hosts a dinner party in her house on the same day that a man is killed in it and during the time her son is missing. She is a woman who believes herself to be an artist because it gives her an excuse for her bad behavior. Prichard nails her so dead on that you wish you could reach through the radio speakers and smack her upside the head on at least half a dozen occasions.

Robert B. Parker
So, how's the plot? Good thriller, although you could see the ending coming as soon as you hear the details of the missing boy's case. Of course, that could be some latent memories from when I read the book 10 years ago...

We meet Susan Silverman.

We meet Healey of the State Police (Prichard nails him too - I never noticed before that Healey was funny, but Prichard reads him as Spenser's straight man foil and I laughed out loud a couple of times).

There's plenty of Spenser's dogged style of detecting and plenty of smart comments.

This listener was struck as to how old Spenser really is - there is a lot of descriptive detail about clothing from the 1970s that reinforce that fact. Luckily, Spenser is forever middle aged but tough enough to take on the world and Susan Silverman is forever ageless and beautiful, no matter the decade.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: God Save the Child by Robert B. Parker.

Originally reviewed on November 23, 2006.

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