Saturday, July 24, 2021

Review of "Rough Weather," by Robert B. Parker

 Review of

Rough Weather, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 9780399155192

Five out of five stars

Wedding crashed by the gray man, unusual ending

The extremely wealthy and several times divorced Heidi Bradshaw comes to Spenser’s office and asks him to attend the wedding of her daughter Adelaide. Many rich and famous people will be in attendance and even though there will be a significant security detail present, Heidi also wants Spenser to attend as an item of her personal emotional support. Spenser agrees when told that he can bring Susan as well.

 Spenser’s old adversary the Gray Man breaks in immediately after the pronouncement of the marriage and kidnaps Adelaide. He shoots and kills some people in the process and the men with the Gray Man have eliminated all members of the security detail. The presence of Susan keeps Spenser from acting, for the Gray Man makes it clear that if he were to try anything, Susan would be his first target.

 Fired by Heidi after the event is completed, Spenser refuses to drop the case and begins prodding everyone that may have an interest in the lives of Heidi and Adelaide. He learns that Heidi married several men, all for their money and was nearly always sexually involved with more than one at a time. With Hawk at his side and with help from his friends in law enforcement, Spenser stirs the pot and foils one attempt to kill him. Which he finds odd, for the attempt was not in the style of the Gray Man. There is also no ransom note, odd for the kidnapping of the daughter of very wealthy parents.

 The reasons for the bizarre situation are not revealed until the very end, with a meeting between the Gray Man, Spenser and Hawk where all is finally revealed. The ending is unexpected and for a Spenser story against his most powerful adversaries, surprising in both the reasons and the lack of violence.

 The dialog is crisp and some of the best you will find in a Spenser novel. There are no wasted words, people talk only when they need to. This is arguably the best Spenser novel ever written.

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