Sunday, May 26, 2019

Review of "Edenville Owls," by Robert B. Parker

Review of

Edenville Owls, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 9780399246562

Four out of five stars

 This book is a significant departure from the usual Parker stories, in both action and dialog. In structure and plotline, it is more suited as a young adult novel rather than one for adult readers. The context is shortly after the end of World War II, when the men are returning to their lives after what were often horrific experiences.

 Bobby Murphy is in middle school and his best friend for years is Joannie, only now adolescence is making both of them aware that things are getting different between them. They want to remain friends, but now the boys talk and think about sex. There is also a very pretty new teacher, Miss Delaney, young and attractive enough to light a hormonal fire in early teen boys. Bobby has formed the Edenville Owls basketball team with four of his friends. With no coach and no other support, their goal is to win the state championship in their division.

 When Bobby witnesses a man physically assaulting Miss Delaney, it is clear that she knows him and that he will not simply leave. Resolving to do something to aid Miss Delaney despite her insistent that he do not, Bobby must find a way to determine what the context really is so that he can take countermeasures against an adult man and war veteran. This makes the book a light detective story with a sports plot in a secondary role.

 A combination of teen angst, the desire to play competitive and winning sports and a detective novel based on the thought processes of middle schoolers, fans of Parker will miss the snappy dialog and tense action typical of his more well-known series.

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