Spenser is hired to find a rare book stolen from a university and the first witness he talks to ends up standing over a dead body within a day, but claims she didn’t do it.
What I Liked
This is the first book in the long-running Spenser series, and it is one of my favorite series of all time. Quirk and Belson are introduced, as well as some general hoodlums, and it is classic Spenser. Keep plugging along, doing what he wants to do or thinks is right, even after the book-napping is resolved.
What I Didn’t Like
Without Silverman or Hawk, it almost feels like Spenser’s on vacation on his own, not quite a full Spenser story. As such, it runs a bit more linearly than some of his other books.
With Sue Grafton’s death, there will be no Z book, so this is the last official Kinsey story. In it, she looks back at a cold case where four rich students filmed the rape of a young girl, someone stole the tape and was murdered, a court case sent two to jail, and the ringleader skipped town. Fast-forward, one of the jailed ones is out of prison, and he receives a copy of the missing tape with a blackmail demand. The parents want Kinsey’s help to ensure they only pay once, or ideally, not at all.
Two deaths get Kinsey off and running – the apparent mugging death of a low-rent private investigator known for cutting corners and a John Doe homeless guy who died with Kinsey’s business address in his pocket.
Fantastic opening — a gambler who hits a run of bad luck, and a loan shark who collects from his losing client pretty aggressively. Oh, and Kinsey apparently has two black eyes from trying to catch a shoplifter?