Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Review of "School Days," by Robert B. Parker

 Review of

School Days, by Robert B. Parker ISBN 1842431722

Five out of five stars

Case taken from the current headlines

 The premise of this Spenser novel is unfortunately all too common, students at a high school engage in a mass shooting. What is different about this case is that it seems to be a completely closed case, the two boys have confessed, and all involved seem eager to wrap it up and put the boys away. There is not the slightest effort among everyone from the local police to the parents of the boys to question what made them do it or even who pulled the triggers.

 The ending of the shooting spree was rather odd, Wendall Grant surrendered to the police and his supposed accomplice was Jared Clark. Yet, he was not found at the scene. When he was apprehended, Clark confessed to being part of the crime without stating specifics.

 Lily Ellsworth is an extremely wealthy woman and the grandmother of Jared. Unsatisfied with the way the case is being handled, Lily hires Spenser to investigate the situation. While there is no evidence to suggest that Clark is innocent, Spenser finds opposition from everyone, starting with the local police that try to persuade him from doing anything. It is clear that they did not handle the active shooter event well. Even Clark wants no part of Spenser’s investigation.

 Spenser also learns that the attorney hired to defend Clark is hopelessly in over his head, a fact known to all yet not really considered relevant by everyone. As he continues to dig and prod, he encounters a criminal gang with a leader called Animal that is the local tough. He also unearths a great deal of dirt as he begins to understand how sad and twisted the life of Jared Clark is.

 Hawk is not a part of this case and Susan is attending a conference on a long-term basis. Therefore, Spenser has only Pearl as a companion as he works his way through a case where no one but the grandmother seems interested in Jared Clark, what made him what he is and what will happen to him.

 Spenser is once again a bulldog in pursuing a case, not easily dissuaded, he discovers the seedy truth about the life of Jared Clark and does what he can to mitigate his difficulties. It is Spenser as his best, prodding, poking and pushing until the truth emerges.

No comments:

Post a Comment