Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review of "Early Autumn," by Robert B. Parker

Review of

Early Autumn, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 0440022487

Five out of five stars

 This Spenser novel is the one that introduces Paul Giacomin, a character that reappears in subsequent Spenser stories. He is fifteen and his parents are fighting over his custody, but in reality, they are fighting each other, and Paul is simply a convenient tool. His mother Patty hires Spenser to “spring” Paul from his father’s custody, a task that he finds easy.

 Spenser quickly learns that Paul is a listless waif and the product of bad parenting and he decides to change that. He enlists Susan’s help, which she is very reluctant to provide. She is depicted as jealous and cold toward Paul, speaking in derisive tones to Spenser and Paul.

 This being a Spenser novel, there is of course far more than just a bitter battle between divorced people. Both parents have sordid pasts and presents, including some involvement with organized crime. When the mob muscle arrives, Spenser contacts Hawk to gain his assistance. Hawk is presented as a bit of a mercenary, even potentially acting as a hired killer.

 Spenser is once again depicted as a man of high principles, aiding a directionless young man over the objections of Susan. When faced with danger, he refuses to shoot people at times when it is in his best interests. There is no Spenser story that depicts him as a thug with a heart more than this one.

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