Thursday, May 26, 2011

Parker's Last Spenser

Sixkill wasn't bad, though it's not anything we haven't seen before.  Since it's perhaps the last Spenser, it's too bad because Hawk doesn't make an appearance.  In fact, that's the curiousity here.  It's like Parker had nowhere else for Hawk to go; Hawk's been in Southeast Asia for awhile now.  Yet Sixkill is another Hawk, really, except a Native American rather than an African American.  Same poor chances as a youth (though certainly his chances had been better than Hawk's); same transformation into strong, bench-pressing gym rat and killer with little conscience.  Odd Spenser as 'enry 'iggins thing there.  Anyway, a comfortable and quick read; finished the whole book in a couple of hours, which is a very positive thing and a slightly negative thing at the same time.  But it's like the latest Pirates and Indiana Jones movies: You know what you're going to get, and you don't even want anything better because you just want what you're comfortably happy with.  If you wanted deeper complexity, you'd read James Ellroy or Cormac McCarthy, right?

I knew Robert B. Parker, having spoken to him a few times when I worked at Borders and then many years later at booksignings.  Very honest man; admitted he wrote just for the money these days.  Admitted he had a thing against college because he'd been pinkslipped from Northeastern.  He had grudges, apparently, but he was honest about them.  And he gave me the name of his agent and said for me to pitch to her, and drop his name.  How awesome is that?!?

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