Sunday, March 16, 2008

Promised Land

Well, this is something I haven't done in a long long time - started and finished a novel in a single day. The object of the feat - Robert B. Parker's fourth novel in the Spenser series called Promised Land.

This novel starts out with a land-developer hiring Spenser to find his wife who has run away from home. Spenser finds her rather quickly, but while doing so learns that both the man and the woman have gotten themselves into some serious trouble individually. Can he get them out of it? Come on, this is Spenser we're talking about.

Written in 1976, the book is steeped with a lot of discussion of the roles of men and women, and their relationships. This is very reflective of the times the book was written and it still has relevance today. The book reflects this not only in the relationship of the husband and wife but also in that of Spenser and Susan Silverman.

Susan Silverman was introduced in the second book of the series, and, while mentioned in the third, she really gets a more active role again in this one. It is nice to have some reoccurring characters for Spenser to play off of. It deepens the world of the books. Also introduced in this book is the character of Hawk, a man from Spenser's past who doesn't always play on the side of the angels. Hawk, if you remember, was a character who showed up a lot on the Spenser For Hire television show. I hope he turns up in future novels.

One last thing of note: Robert B. Parker is a gormet cook who wrote the "Dining Out" column for Boston magazine every other month. So, it is rather fitting that Spenser, like his creator, likes to cook. That is reflected a lot in the books so far - with very descriptive details about meals and drink. I like when authors put a bit of themselves in their characters.

Sadly, my local library does not have the fifth book - Judas Goat, so I'll be skipping over to the sixth one this week. Time to return a couple books too and get the next couple after that. I figure if I'm on a roll I might as well be prepared.

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