Goodreads ~ In the detective business, Spenser sometimes has to bend the law. Other times, to break it. But he lives by his own inviolate rules. And he loves just one woman - even though she is the one woman he's just lost.
So when Susan's desperate letter arrives, Spenser doesn't think twice. His best friend, Hawk, faces a life sentence. And Susan has gotten herself into even bigger trouble. Now Spenser has to free them both ... even if it means breaking his own rules to do it.
Spenser is a private detective in Boston. He receives a letter from the love of his life and former girlfriend, Susan Silverman. She had abruptly moved to the West Coast recently. She said that his friend and associate, Hawk, is in jail and she needs help.
While in the West Coast, Susan had started a relationship with Russell Costigan. Spenser flies to California and breaks Hawk out of jail. They then started to track Russell down so they can rescue Susan. This gets them involved with a government agency who agree to help them as long as Spenser and Hawk them in return.
This is the twelfth 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 over the years (and have liked the series) and have started reading them from the beginning of the series. Though it is part of a series, for the most part it works as a stand alone.
I liked the writing style ... I found it humorous at times. Spenser is a tough guy with a wisecracking sense of humour. It's written in first person perspective in Spenser's voice. As a head's up, there is swearing.
I wasn't crazy about this story. Susan had kicked Spenser to the curb in the last book after being together for more than ten years so she could "find herself" yet she had started going out with Russell even before she had broken up with Spenser. Spenser jumps to help her and no qualms about killing people to do it. Then we have to suffer through their conversations about how he loves her and will apparently forgive her for cheating on him and leaving him for someone else ... and she loves him yet she loves Russell but wants to be with Spenser. And Spenser is willing to do illegal things to ensure she is safe and she doesn't seem to have any issues with this. I was never a Susan fan and didn't mind her in the first few books in the series. I found her annoying in this one and the last one (and the future ones I've read).
It was definitely a different time when this story was written ... Spenser and Hawk were able to fly and rent cars using stolen ID and credit cards.