Monday 14 August 2017

Book ~ "Stardust" (1990) Robert B. Parker

From Goodreads ~ When a Hollywood-based TV series schedules filming in Boston, Spenser smells trouble. When he signs up to protect the show's star, Jill Joyce, he knows it's on its way. 

First, there's Jill herself. She's spoiled, arrogant, drugged out -- made worse by fear. Someone is out to get her - does she imagine it, or is it real? 

Spenser monitors her neurosis, but finds evidence of harassment. It escalates to murder. Now begins the dangerous part - while the act may have ended, the murderer lingers on.

Spenser is a private detective in Boston.  Jill Joyce is a popular 40ish TV actress in a hit show and they are shooting it in Boston.  When she complains that she’s been receiving threatening phone calls, Spenser is hired as her bodyguard.  He is also supposed to figure out who is harassing her.  He starts to think that maybe she is making it all up to draw attention to herself ... until someone is murdered.  Spencer gets no help from Jill because she lies all the time and denies everything ... plus she's usually drunk and/or stoned so he's on his own to investigate.

I thought the story had potential as it sounded interesting but I didn't like it.  I hated Jill ... she was an awful unlikable person.  She was always drunk, smoking and doing drugs.  She kept coming onto Spenser and Hawk and then acting like a bitch when they turned her down (and then passing out).  Everyone knew she was like this but no one did anything about it.  I found her character unbelievable and way over the top.  I was glad when the story was over and I wasn't buying the "whodunnit" and why.

This is the seventeenth in the Spenser series (there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker's death in 2010).  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  I'd read many of the books over the years and recently started reading them from the beginning of the series ... my intent was to get through the series.  I read the first seventeen in the last couple of months and need a Spenser break.  It was sad to see a progression of bad storylines and lame and annoying characters.

I did like 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'm not a fan of Susan, Spenser's love interest ... she has become picky and princessy as the series progressed.

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