My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It doesn’t matter which Spenser novel you read–I suggest you start with the first one, Godwulf Manuscript. They all draw you into the fascinating, quick-moving world of Spenser, the PI. They’re all short, easily read in a few days (in no small part because you won’t want to stop). The early books introduce we the reader to the world of Spenser the PI, where he makes the rules, is honest and caring, but razor-edge sharp, where he was kicked out of the police force because he didn’t take direction well, but as a PI, gets along well with his local police.
He’s like a dog with a bone when he sinks his prodigious will into a case. Nothing stops him. The client may fire him, stop paying him. Bad guys can threaten him, but he won’t stop until he’s ready to stop. He’s funny, clever, full of one-liners I had to write down. For example: “Pearl loped around my apartment, alert for something to chew.” Pearl’s his dog. “Pearl ran to the couch and got a pillow and shook it violently until it was dead, and came back to show us.”
The early part of the series was pre-Susan (his forever girlfriend) and Hawk (his erstwhile sidekick). I didn’t miss them until I met them, and then, for several of the books that I read out of order, the story was a little flat without their involvement.
Parker’s Spenser has been called “the toughest funniest, wisest private eye in the field these days” and “one of the most engaging characters in contemporary American fiction.” It’s true. Read any of them–or all–and you’ll agree.