Saturday 29 July 2017

Book ~ "Pale Kings and Princes" (1987) Robert B. Parker

From Goodreads ~ Wheaton is a typical New England small-college town, not the sort of place for drugs and murder. But when a reporter gets too inquisitive, he finds both - the latter on his own.

Spenser's call comes when the local cops work a cover. He needs help to solve this one - Hawk for back-up and Susan for insight on the basics of jealousy, passion and hate!

What the trio finds is a cutthroat cocaine ring, where drugs have value supreme and human life has none at all. 

Spenser is a private detective in Boston.  Following the murder of a reporter in Wheaton, Massachusetts, he is hired by a newspaper to investigate the death.  The police suspect the reporter was killed because he was having an affair with someone in the town.  As Spenser starts to investigate, he discovers that cocaine is one of the main industries there and the death may be drug related.  He doesn't get much help from the Wheaton police because they are owned by the rich and powerful local drug lord.

This is the fourteenth 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 found it ended really quickly.  There was some build-up and then it was done and Spenser was back home and able to enjoy a decent meal again.

I didn't mind Susan, Spenser's love interest, in the earlier books in the series.  I disliked her in Valediction and Catskill Eagle (the eleventh and twelfth in the series).  I found her annoying in this one and the future ones I've read as she has started to get picky and princessy.

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