A Savage Place, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 0440180953
Four out of five stars
This Spenser book is good, but not one of the great ones. There is no Hawk and Susan is a mere mention, almost completely in reference to the statement that she will not care when told that Spenser was sexually involved with his client.
Candy Sloan is an investigative television reporter in Southern California and she is on the trail of a story of organized crime involvement in the movie industry. When Spenser is contacted and asked to serve as a bodyguard he flies solo out to California and assumes the position. While there is some of the banter typical of Spenser, it just does not have the humor potential of other books. It is as if he needs the usual supporting cast to be at his funniest.
The story also does not have the suspense and tenseness that other Spenser stories possess. There is a climactic confrontation between Spenser and the bad guys, but it lacks power. Not a bad murder mystery, just not the best Spenser that you can find.