Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Review of "Double Deuce," by Robert B. Parker

 Review of

Double Deuce, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 0399137211

Five out of five stars

Hawk seeks the professional help of Spenser

Spenser and Hawk are both noble, honorable men of the highest caliber. They are the best of friends, willing to join the other in the deadliest of fights, all the other has to do is ask. In this story, some people in a ghetto neighborhood are desperate to rid their neighborhood of the scourge of gangs and drugs. They turn to Hawk to help them but are unable to offer him anything in return. Hawk agrees and then asks Spenser to assist him at the same rate of pay.
While we learn a great deal about Spenser’s past in the Spenser series of books, Hawk is an enigma. In this book, we learn a little bit about him, but he remains circumspect about his past. All we learn is that he probably grew up in a very dangerous environment and through unusual circumstances managed to survive to adulthood. Hawk uses those skills to probe the neighborhood and deal with the members of a violent youth gang. A teen mother and her new baby have been ruthlessly gunned down and the prime suspect is a gang led by a very tough kid named Major Johnson. They proclaim their innocence, although they are coy about it, as they enjoy the attention from Hawk, someone they respect.
There is a subplot as well. Spenser and Susan agree to live together, so Spenser moves in with Susan. Although they “get along”, there is a great deal of underlying tension. Susan eats healthy and Spenser eats hearty. Finally, they agree that they love each other and will stay together, but they dissolve their cohabitation union. Hawk also has a love interest, a beautiful black woman who tries to get inside him but fails. When Hawk shoots past her to wound a man threatening to kill her, she decides that her interest in Hawk is not that strong.
As always, the dialog in this Spenser novel is entertaining and would uplift even the weakest plot, which this one is not. There are strong supporting minor characters, including an ex-nun who works with gang members. She drinks whiskey with Spenser and he even takes note of her in a non-professional way. This is one of the better Spenser novels.

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