Friday 9 June 2017

Book ~ "Mortal Stakes" (1975) Robert B. Parker

From Goodreads ~ Everybody loves a winner and the Rabbs are major league. Marty is the Red Sox star pitcher, Linda the loving wife. She loves everyone except the blackmailer out to wreck her life.

Is Marty throwing fast balls or throwing games? It doesn't take long for Spenser to link Marty's performance with Linda's past ... or to find himself trapped between a crazed racketeer and an enforcer toting an M-16.

America's favorite pastime has suddenly become a very dangerous sport, and one wrong move means strike three, with Spenser out for good!

Spenser is a private investigator in Boston.  He has been hired by the Red Sox to find out if their lead pitcher, Marty Rabb, is on the take.  As Spenser investigates (he poses as an author writing a book about baseball), he discovers a blackmail plot involving pimps, a high class madam and a loan shark ... Marty's wife, Linda, had lived a secret life before she'd married him.

This is the third in the Spenser series (there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker's death in 2010).  I've read many in the series over the years (and have enjoyed the series) but I can't remember where I'd jumped in.  I know I hadn't started at the beginning so that's why I decided to read them from the beginning.  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.

I liked the writing style ... I find it humorous at times.  This book was written and is set in the 1970s so is dated with some of its references and lingo.  With no Internet, Spencer has to do a lot of legwork manually.  And it's amazing how much information he's given by just calling someone (I doubt it would be that easy with today's privacy laws).  It's written in first person perspective in Spenser's voice.

Spenser is a tough guy with a wisecracking sense of humour.  He can be a slimy dog at times, though, when he's admiring the ladies.  In this book, he is dating  and sleeping with both Brenda Loring (who he met in the first book) and Susan Silverman (who he met in the second book).  Neither women have a big presence in this book but it seems like he is leaning more towards Susan because he can talk to her the way he can't with Brenda.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

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