Some aspects of this book remind me of book 8, A Savage Place, in which Spenser also was a bodyguard that time for start Los Angeles television reporter Candy Sloan A failed stint as a bodyguard that ended in her brutal murder something that still haunts Spenser Candy s physical description sounded similar to Jill s Spenser even visits her LA grave in Stardust Spenser seems to be getting hired regularly as a bodyguard, with investigation on the side Not sure that bodyguard equals PI.
The word maroon appears only once in this novel 4.
5 starsI enjoyed this book very much, especially the lyrical walk in the woods at the cabin, and the hopeful, redemptive ending Things come together sweetly then, a very good Spenser success ending I don t believe Spenser kills or even shoots anyone in this book.
AND Jill asks Spenser s first name and HE TELLS HER There are some nice moments throughout, if you can stand Jill s rants.
Personally, I believe that all bad behaviour comes from fear and pain, so I was able to tolerate Jill s antics knowing that Spenser and Susan and Hawk would straighten her out Her hidden story touches on a terrible, and too frequent occurrence in America these days Very sad.
One beautiful moment in the book, is Spenser s visit to the grave of Candy in L.
The brief affair with Candy, the girl he couldn t saveIsn t it funny how the tears can just come, sometimes I stood in Forest Lawn Cemetery and looked down at the marker Candace Sloan, it said B 1950 D 1981 The headstones stretched out around me in all directions, measuring the green sweep of the hillside Behind me the rental car was parked on the drive My suitcase was in it with the big red letters spelling ADIDAS on the side In an hour and a half I d be flying to Boston In six or seven hours I d be with Susan There were flowers at many of the grave sites And there were a few other people looking at gravestones the way I was The only sound was the swish of the water sprinklers as they arched repetitiously over the green grass and, distantly, the sound of traffic on the Ventura Freeway and, over all, the hard silence made resounding by the hints of punctuation I could feel the high hot California sun on the back of my neck as I stood with my hands in my hip pockets staring down at Candy s grave I hadn t been there for the funeral The last time I d seen her was in a degenerating oil field, faceup in a hard rain with the blood washing pinkish off her face I pursed my lips a little Above us the sky was bright blue There were a few white clouds and they were moving very lazily west toward the Pacific Some sort of bird chittered somewhere On the freeway a truck shifted gears on a grade Still I stared down at the grass in front of the headstone She wasn t there Whatever there was of her there didn t matter She probably wasn t anywhere I looked up and back, toward the Valley and beyond the Valley, toward the mountains There wasn t any smog today, and the snowcaps on some of the highest peaks were clear to see, white above the clay color of the mountains None of the stuff that anyone had ever written seemed useful I had nothing much to offer either The bird chittered again Above me the clouds drifted west, and the sun imperceptibly followed The sky stayed blue, the earth below stayed green I looked again briefly at the gravestone and blew out my breath once, and turned and walked back toward my rental car Some bodyguard, I said, and even though I spoke softly, my voice sounded very loud in the still burial ground and the words seemed to hang there as I drove away.
See my review of Crimson Joy for Spenser Series opinionhttps www.
com review show In The Journal of Popular Culture, Scott R Christianson writes about tough talk and wisecracks the hardboiled detective narrator talks all the time to the reader He talks tough and he talks smart but mainly as the narrator of the story as well as the protagonist he talks a lot As an example of the above, Robert Parker s wonderful P.
, Spenser, demonstrates in Parker s Stardust, published in 1990.
Spenser is asked to protect a spoiled, temperamental TV star, Jill Joyce She stars in TV s Fifty Minutes and has been filming the TV show from Boston.
The story in Stardust seems realistic as we learn that someone has been harassing Jill and she demands protection She shows that on the TV show she may be a star but off screen she s something else.
When violence erupts and someone on the TV crew is killed, Spenser goes into action to find the killer.
Jill drinks to excess and seems like a sex starved nymphomaniac, but underneath her outward persona, Spenser recognizes fear and vulnerability.
He investigates her background and learns things that make him sad to see How can someone who had to rise above misfortune gain the public spotlight And, at what cost There are lessons of endearment and loyalty that Spenser demonstrates to his own love, psychologist, Susan and we see the empathy Spenser shows for a number of people associated with Jill whose lives have also been shattered.
For a dish of mystery topped with a flavoring of humor, this can be the main course.
I always like reading Robert B Parker the Spenser novels are quick reading usually, and I use them as sort of a palate cleanser between other books I always get a kick out of the interplay between Spenser and Hawk I like the dedication of this one, which is to his wife, Joan, and is No dream in vain , a reference to the classic song Stardust I also like reading the descriptions of Boston.
This is the 17th book of Parker s Spenser series and quite frankly it is one of his better ones In this novel Spenser is hired by a TV studio to investigate the harassment their star actress, Jill Joyce, is receiving while filming in Boston Spenser is also suppose to protect her.
Unlike most Spenser novels we are kept in suspense as to who is the person harassing, if anyone, till the end of the book Jill is a spoiled actress who abuses any and all substances and wants to mount any man who comes around her No a likeable person She is a good example of someone who the public sees and envies because it appears on the outside that she has it made We learn throughout the book that Jill really is messed up by what has gone on with her life and is miserable She tells Spenser she is receiving harassing phone calls but she doesn t know who from She also won t share anything about her life and her past Spenser has to find out about lovers, husbands and family all on his own with no help from Jill Things ramp up when a stunt double for Jill is killed.
Quite a few references to characters from past books so it will help with your enjoyment of the book if you start from the beginning and read all of Spenser s adventures They are quick easy reads with witty banter between Spenser and others Especially entertaining is the Hawk Spenser relationship and interaction.
All the best things about SpenserTeamwork, toughness, terseness Here was a good interchange, as Spenser warns about an incoming threat Remember that big geek named Randall, thinks he s tougher than Oliver North Wow, Hawk said Randall does karate Good, Hawk said It s fun to watch.
another good tale by Mr Parker.
Robert B Parker s Spenser series was adapted into a television show called Spenser For Hire in the mid 80s Although the show was a cut above the other cops n robbers shows of the era, it was still the 80s so it was far from perfect and it was a series where the portrayal of sidekick Hawk by Avery Brooks overshadowed the hero After the series was cancelled, there was a brief attempt to spin off the character in A Man Called Hawk Parker worked as a consultant on the series but there s evidence that his experiences with Hollywood didn t go particularly well Exhibit A is the novel Stardust he wrote after the show was cancelledExhibit B is radio interview I once heard with Parker where he told a great story that kind of summed up his attitude towards Hollywood He was in L.
A for some reason, and he got asked to attend a meeting with Helen Hunt This was around the time she d just won an Oscar, and she was flavor of the month Hunt was a fan of Parker s books and wanted him to write a screenplay featuring a female detective that she d play.
Parker refused on the basis that he d done screenplay work before and hated working on projects that either never saw the light of day or were heavily modified He told Hunt that he d try to write a book with a female detective and give her first crack at buying the rights if she was interested That way he d at least get a book published out of the deal if a film was never made The result was Family Honor with Sunny Randall Hunt did buy the film rights and Parker liked the character so he wrote several other book featuring Sunny However, no movie has been done to date so it seems like Parker knew what he was doing when it came to dealing with writing projects for Hollywood Jillian Joyce is one of the most popular TV stars in America, and she s in Boston working on a series When Jill complains that she s receiving threatening and harassing phone calls, Spenser is brought in to act as bodyguard and figure out if there s any actual danger Actually, the biggest danger is that Spenser may lose his temper and kill Jill himself since she is a high octane pain in the ass Jill s a drunk, a drug user, unusually sexually aggressive and a complete diva Plus, even though she constantly demands protection from Him , she refuses to talk about anything that might help Spenser figure out what s going on However, Spenser realizes that everyone around her is only interested in propping her up long enough to get the daily filming done and walking away from damsels in distress has never been his style.
Although we re firmly in the era of Good But Past His Prime Spenser , this is one of the better books of this phase Parker used the experience from the Spenser For Hire TV show to give the behind the scenes stuff some weight and probably get a little revenge in the process It s got a couple of scenes that are among my favorites of the entire series, including Spenser s response to a thug who has tried to intimidate him by doing karate moves on a heavy bag in a gym.
Unfortunately, this story started the trend towards Spenser trying to protect damaged people where half the mystery was him trying to figure out their psychological issues It s got some funny and touching moments and is definitely one of the last highlights before the series began declining.
Next up Spenser finally reveals his secret origin in Pastime.
Spenser is a private detective in Boston Jill Joyce is a popular 40ish TV actress in a hit show and they are shooting it in Boston When she complains that she s been receiving threatening phone calls, Spenser is hired as her bodyguard He is also supposed to figure out who is harassing her He starts to think that maybe she is making it all up to draw attention to herself until someone is murdered Spencer gets no help from Jill because she lies all the time and denies everything plus she s usually drunk and or stoned so he s on his own to investigate.
I thought the story had potential as it sounded interesting but I didn t like it I hated Jill she was an awful unlikable person She was always drunk, smoking and doing drugs She kept coming onto Spenser and Hawk and then acting like a bitch when they turned her down and then passing out Everyone knew she was like this but no one did anything about it I found her character unbelievable and way over the top I was glad when the story was over and I wasn t buying the whodunnit and why.
This is the seventeenth in the Spenser series there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker s death in 2010 Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone I d read many of the books over the years and recently started reading them from the beginning of the series my intent was to get through the series I read the first seventeen in the last couple of months and need a Spenser break It was sad to see a progression of bad storylines and lame and annoying characters.
I did like the writing style I found it humorous at times Spenser is a tough guy with a wisecracking sense of humour It s written in first person perspective in Spenser s voice As a head s up, there is swearing.
I m not a fan of Susan, Spenser s love interest she has become picky and princessy as the series progressed.
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