Friday, December 12, 2008
Rough Weather by Robert B Parker
It's always a crap shoot with me and a Robert B Parker novel. I love the guy, I love his writing, I love his characters, and yet as often as not I wind up whining about his novels.
Here's more of the same. I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the book a lot. And yet I think the instigating tragedy was ridiculous, the enemy a shallow Terminator-esque cliche, and the ending a morally suspect copout.
On the other hand Susan wasn't annoying at all, which was a minor miracle.
In the book the Gray Man appears to ruin the wedding of the daughter of socialite Heidi Bradshaw. How does he accomplish this? Why, by having a strike force hold the congregation hostage while he shoots the groom and minister dead and kidnaps the bride, all during a raging hurricane and all while Spenser is himself a captive in the audience. The rest of the novel is Spenser's attempt to retrieve the missing bride and bring the Gray Man and his sponsors to justice.
C'mon - it sounds as goofy as it reads to me, doesn't it?
But Parker manages a nice little feat himself by making the remaining 4/5ths of the novel an interesting read. There's nothing new here, just the standard interplay between Spenser, Susan, Hawk, etc, and the very quick and shallow explorations of their characters. But it's a comforting familiarity, as well it should be after 35 other Spenser adventures.
Not recommended for 1st time Parker readers, but for fans 2.75 out of 4.