Sunday, June 22, 2008

Small Vices

Jumping back to 1997 and Robert B. Parker's 24th Spenser novel, Small Vices involves a case where a law-firm hires the Boston detective to determine if a jailed man was wrongly convicted of murder. Spenser's digging stirs up trouble and puts him in the deadly line of fire.

There is also a subplot about Susan wanted them to adopt a child together, but reading the books out of order pretty much told me how this part would pan out. Just the luck of the draw when you have to wait on books at the library to get returned before you can check them out.

This book was okay but not one of the best of the series by any stretch of the imagination. It is another one of those cases where Spenser ends up choosing between two evils, and suprisingly he'd rather allow the greater of the evils go free. It just didn't sit that well with me.

Another thing clearly standing out - the supporting cast around Spenser, like Patricia Utley and Paul, seem to age but Spenser, Susan and Hawk for the most part remain unchanged. It's kind of comic-book like in some respects. That does tend to throw me off too. Clearly they talk about Spenser and Susan knowing each other for over 25 years, yet the characters don't act like they're in their late 40's/early 50's. They tend to remain a bit timeless. Again, I should be used to this - having read comics as long as I have. I guess when a book franchise runs this many decades that you have to do that if you want to keep using your same hero.

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