Thursday, April 3, 2008


I just finished Robert B. Parker's 1982 novel Ceremony which is the ninth book in the Spenser series. The private detective is back in Boston and is brought into a case through his girlfriend Susan. It seems one of the students at the high school she does counseling at has runaway from home. The father doesn't want April back, but the mother does. So Spenser takes the case.

The case, as it turns out, leads into the dark underbelly of prostitution and other related areas. As Spenser gets deeper into the case, the level of languange and violence esculates. He even has to bring in his old buddy Hawk to help him out on this one. If this one were truly adapted verbatim, as opposed to the TV movie version from Spenser For Hire, it would definitely get a heavy R rating. While this was a sharp contrast to the previous novels in the series, it wasn't a turn-off at all. It all worked well for the context of the story.

Another interesting thing is that the author doesn't wrap it all up neat and nice and happily ever after. This story is about hard choices, both those that April and the other girls make and the ones that Spenser and Susan have to make. And there isn't always the seeing of eye-to-eye on things. And that makes for good character conflict and growth.

Very recommended.

No comments: