counter create hit Hush Money - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Hush Money

Availability: Ready to download

"Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic "Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavyweights.When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumor mill, no one's willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist. At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K. C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional/client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him. Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly. It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of the iceberg in a great conspiracy to keep America white, male, and straight. Spenser must call upon his every resource, including friends on both sides of the law, to stay alive.


Compare
Ads Banner

"Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic "Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavyweights.When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumor mill, no one's willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist. At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K. C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional/client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him. Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly. It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of the iceberg in a great conspiracy to keep America white, male, and straight. Spenser must call upon his every resource, including friends on both sides of the law, to stay alive.

30 review for Hush Money

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Underwood

    "Being a professor and working are not the same thing. The academic community is composed largely of nitwits. If I may generalize. People who don't know very much about what matters very much, who view life through literature rather than the other way around." - Robert B. Parker Q: What does the Orson Welles film, A Touch of Evil, have in common with Robert B. Parker’s novel, Hush Money? A: Both wallow in the seedy and corrupt side of life so thoroughly that upon finishing either one, you feel lik "Being a professor and working are not the same thing. The academic community is composed largely of nitwits. If I may generalize. People who don't know very much about what matters very much, who view life through literature rather than the other way around." - Robert B. Parker Q: What does the Orson Welles film, A Touch of Evil, have in common with Robert B. Parker’s novel, Hush Money? A: Both wallow in the seedy and corrupt side of life so thoroughly that upon finishing either one, you feel like running into the shower and turning on the hot water just to get the grime off. The above quote — not from this book — reflects how Parker, who had spent time in academia, felt about what he observed and experienced there. This is what Spenser says in Hush Money: “Whenever I got involved with anything related to a university, I was reminded of how seriously everyone took everything, particularly themselves, and I had to keep a firm grip on my impulse to make fun.” — Spenser In essence, Hush Money is a scathing indictment of the institutions of supposedly higher learning; its pretension and self-importance; its overwhelming liberalism and left-leaning, and its disdain for anyone who doesn’t fall in line with university thinking; and the utter hypocrisy of many — but not all — with PhDs who have bought into such. Perhaps no statement in the novel sums this up better than the one by a faculty member whom Spenser likes: “They think it (a Ph.D) empowers their superior insight into government and foreign policy and race relations and such. In addition these people are put into an environment where daily, they judge themselves against a standard set by eighteen-or twenty-year-old kids who know little if anything about the subject matter in which their professors are expert.” — “Exemplar of the species is Lillian Temple. There is no liberal agenda, however goofy, that will not attract her attention. There is no hypocrisy, however bald, that she will not endure if she can convince herself that it is in the service of right thinking.” — Tommy Harmon Harmon is a faculty member, and one of the scarce decent people of integrity Spenser encounters while investigating whether a black professor named by his father after Jackie Robinson, and who is not the “right” kind of black guy, has been denied tenure unfairly. The man who named him is Bobby Nevins, an important figure in Hawk’s path out of the ghetto, which we at least get a surface peek at in this one. We also get the extraordinary revelation, that one of the male black professors at the university, who has since changed his name, once tried to seduce young Hawk. Yes, the seediness is high, here, but it hardly ends there. In fact, it’s only just beginning. In addition to being a hard and unpleasant look at academia, this is a hard and unpleasant look at the male gay community, and it begins bothering Spenser. Just how bad it is, is revealed by gay cop, Lee Farrell’s comments to Spenser when it becomes obvious the case is making him quite uncomfortable: “Lemme tell you what’s bothering you. You’re chasing along after whatever it is that you can’t quite catch, and every gay person you encounter is sleazy, crooked, second rate, and generally unpleasant. And, being a basically decent guy, despite the smart mouth, you fear that maybe you are prejudiced and it’s clouding your judgement. Same thing happens to me with blacks. I spend two months on drug-related homicide and everybody’s black, and everybody’s a vicious sleaze bag, and I begin to wonder, is it me? No. We deal with the worst. You got a case involving murder and blackmail, most of the people you meet are going to be scumbags.” That almost sums up the book, as this is a walk on the sleazy side, and the ones with the most education, may be the sleaziest. Their hypocrisy is, indeed, as pointed out here, breathtaking. Looking into what seems frivolous at first, as a favor to Hawk, Spenser discovers that a suicide linked to Nevins was probably murder. It was the rumor that Nevins is gay, and having an affair with the student which kept him from attaining tenure. But Nevins is a black who doesn’t fit into an academia profile others would like. Being fairly conservative in his approach to teaching, preferring his English students to learn about dead white guys like Shakespeare, rather than studying Modern Black Anger, has not won him friends and influence. Spenser isn’t even certain Nevins is gay, much less that he was connected to the murdered student. And Nevins isn’t saying. His reason for remaining silent on the issue, which is revealed late in the novel, show him to be more like his father, Bobby Nevins, than either Robinson or Spenser had imagined. Amir is the professor who had hit on Hawk years ago, and there is a palpable disgust here from Hawk. Spenser can’t even figure out why Hawk dislikes him so much, because he’s just another sleazy, self-important member of academia using the situation and culture for his own aggrandizement. In other words, nothing new under the sun for university life. When the reason for Hawk’s disdain is finally revealed, it is shocking. Though at this point, the series had become more entertainment than substance, it at least gave readers a glimpse into Hawk’s past, and fleshed his character out to some minor degree. Not enough that it would eclipse the Susan and Spenser show, but a little. I’ll get to that portion of the novel in a bit. First, there is a grad-student paper called OUTrageous, which has been outing gay people on campus and off. But it turns out that someone was involved in blackmail as well. And there is a huge fund the victim had which his mother knew nothing about. It gets sleazier from there. Then Parker suddenly realizes he’s been taking an almost conservative tack, so he throws in a far fringe right leader and some more sleaze and hypocrisy incurs. It’s fair game, of course, as whackadoodle and slimy is everywhere. Yet it feels a bit like an afterthought by Parker. The new plot thread — a loose term when it comes to the middle and later Parkers — seems pulled out of the blue. It feels to this reader more like it is inserted by Parker to reclaim some of his Boston-liberal street-cred, rather than owning this particular story itself, and the dark corners of liberal hypocrisy to which it had taken him. But it could also have been due to Parker’s laziness in plotting, which had taken a back seat to the Susan Silverman show at this point. Maybe it was a little of both. So that Parker could work his precious — imagine Gollum’s voice — into this one, we get a second case that Spenser works on as a favor to Susan. It seems a good friend of hers is being stalked. KC is artificial in nearly every way except her stunning, Hedy Lamarr-like beauty, and her voracious need for male affection. Naturally, of course, she would be an old pal of Susan’s, and naturally, she’s a head-case. Once she latches onto Spenser, however, it becomes quite obvious their friendship is as shallow as they are. But KC obviously does know Susan very well: “What’s so great about Susan? Seriously, what’s so special about her? I’ve known her since we were in college. She’s so vain, for God’s sake. — And she’s so pretentious, for God’s sake.” — KC to Spenser KC goes on to say that Susan is too vain and pretentious to even enjoy lovemaking. KC is a little twisted herself, but the solution to getting her off Spenser and in the direction of therapy is simplistic and gag-worthy. Susan to the rescue! Just have something for your stomach handy because it will churn as your eyes roll. It’s less unpleasant than some later scenes in the main story-line, however. They will definitely make you want to shower quickly. But it’s the sign of a good story if it can make you feel like that. Parker’s disdain for academia is palpable here, yet each time he shows something ugly, he has to cop out just that tiny bit, marginalize it so that a fraction of its impact is lost. When a writer has something to say, and it’s important, people will not always like you. Here, and in a few other books, Parker would go right to the edge, then pull back toward political correctness, as if he didn’t want people to dislike him. In essence, Hush Money is like that Seinfeld episode which has the catchphrase, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” but minus the laughter. Still, Hush Money is a very interesting read, with some good stuff to recommend it. There is a wonderful opening paragraph about the music of baseball which has somehow been lost in modern times. Anyone who loves baseball will enjoy those opening comments. And there is a Brian Donlevy mention for fans of classic film which is a gem: “I raised both eyebrows. I could raise one eyebrow like Brian Donlevy, but I didn’t very often, because most people didn’t know who Brian Donlevy was, or what I was doing with my face.” I couldn’t stop laughing for a while after that one, but there aren’t many moments of laughter here. It is, however, pretty good for a Spenser story from this period, and worth reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ This didn’t even make it to my “Currently Reading” list. What an idiot! Anyway, Hush Money was a currently reading . . . or rather listening to . . . selection of mine about a month ago. Full disclosure: I had no clue that these books were actually this . . . . Full disclosure #2 – I also didn’t really watch Spenser: For Hire. It was more like background filler while I played Barbies and waited with bated breath for my types of sho Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ This didn’t even make it to my “Currently Reading” list. What an idiot! Anyway, Hush Money was a currently reading . . . or rather listening to . . . selection of mine about a month ago. Full disclosure: I had no clue that these books were actually this . . . . Full disclosure #2 – I also didn’t really watch Spenser: For Hire. It was more like background filler while I played Barbies and waited with bated breath for my types of shows to come on. You know, real classy stuff like Dallas, Dynasty or my favorite: Knots Landing. If you’re wondering how I came across this series and decided to start at the ripe ol’ number of 26, there’s a simple answer . . . . You see, Burt Reynolds died and I was about as bummed as I can get about a stranger’s passing so I went to the library and searched his name. There ended up being a waiting list (natch) for But Enough About Me, however a couple of these Spenser stories popped up as options due to Burt being the narrator. And what a narrator he was! A different (and more importantly) believable voice for each character, his easy charm simply oozed through my speakers and was the perfect fit for both Spenser as well as Hawk. The story itself wasn’t too shabby either. A dual “whodunit” (both of which happen to be of the pro bono variety) featuring a potential sex scandal ending up with the suicide of a young gay man taken on as a favor to Hawk - along with a stalking case brought by Spenser’s long-time girlfriend Susan. I’m pleased to say this has aged quite well, since it is nearly 20 years old. I’m sad to report it could have been written today as far as case #1 is concerned. In the strangest variety of coinky-dinks I followed a fellow named Ace Atkins because I am smitten with all things David Joy and ol’ David seems to pal around with Ace a tad. Imagine my surprise when I discovered several months later that it is Atkins himself who picked up Robert B. Parker’s fallen pen after he passed and has continued on with this series. Add on to that an apparent revamp of the program via way of Netflix starring Marky Mark (wearing more than underpants and without his Funky Bunch) is in the works. Talk about timing! I highly doubt that I will go back to the beginning of this series, but I will be listening to at least one more as the library has it and once again it is read by Burt.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This Spenser adventure has its moments, but I don’t think the novel itself quite succeeds. This is because its principal narrative is too slight for a novel, and Parker cannot find enough complications to enrich it and fashion it into something gripping and memorable. Black English professor Robinson Nevins seeks Spenser’s help in investigating why he failed to receive tenure. He thinks it has something to with the rumors that he may gay, and the suspicion that he may have contributed to the suic This Spenser adventure has its moments, but I don’t think the novel itself quite succeeds. This is because its principal narrative is too slight for a novel, and Parker cannot find enough complications to enrich it and fashion it into something gripping and memorable. Black English professor Robinson Nevins seeks Spenser’s help in investigating why he failed to receive tenure. He thinks it has something to with the rumors that he may gay, and the suspicion that he may have contributed to the suicide of a student gay activist who is rumored to have been his lover. The adventure takes a few interesting turns, first into the practice of “outing,” and later into the world of white racism, but the story of Nevins and his enemies never really comes together. Parker is forced to add another totally unrelated subplot (his subplots are usually at least tangentially related) and a few longer-than-necessary descriptions of random individuals inhabiting the landscape and Spenser preparing food. Even worse, the subplot itself is not interesting, involving a particularly irritating and needy old “friend” of Susan’s named KC Roth. (It’s cool that Susan gets to sock her in the jaw, later in the book, but even that didn’t help like the subplot better.) Of course, there’s no such thing as a really bad Spenser, but Hush Money is pretty close.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    Spenser ends up working two cases pro bono after Hawk and Susan both ask him for his help. Since he owes Hawk about a thousand favors as well as probably five figures worth of expenses for ammunition alone, it’s perfectly understandable that he’d work for free on that one, but he should charge Susan double just for being so damn annoying. Hawk asks Spenser to help a professor that’s the son of an old friend of his. The professor was denied tenure because of a smear campaign that claimed he had a Spenser ends up working two cases pro bono after Hawk and Susan both ask him for his help. Since he owes Hawk about a thousand favors as well as probably five figures worth of expenses for ammunition alone, it’s perfectly understandable that he’d work for free on that one, but he should charge Susan double just for being so damn annoying. Hawk asks Spenser to help a professor that’s the son of an old friend of his. The professor was denied tenure because of a smear campaign that claimed he had a relationship with a male student who killed himself when the prof broke it off. Trying to backtrack the rumor, Spenser runs across some very annoying academic types as well as some blackmailers. Meanwhile, Susan asks Spenser to help out a friend of hers named KC who is being stalked. KC left her husband for another man, but he refused to follow suit and leave his wife. The ex-husband is a likely suspect, but he seems a lot more stable than the loony KC who gets a severe case of hot pants for Spenser. No surprise that the case with the professor is the more interesting of the two. We actually find out a bit about Hawk’s past, and what starts out as something very routine turns into a furball for Spenser. The stalker story with KC could have been decent, but once again it’s an example of a character’s psychological problems being a big part of the story rather than the detective piece. Plus, it means we have to hear a lot from Susan, and that’s never good. Also, Susan has to be like the shittiest therapist ever because if she couldn’t tell that KC was crazy town banana pants, then she’s obviously not a very good student of human nature. Next up: Spenser tries to keep a horse from getting turned into glue in Hugger Mugger.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brent Soderstrum

    This is Parker's 26th Spenser novel. In this one Spenser has two separate cases he is working on for his standard rate of pay-$0. One of the cases is as a favor to Hawk and the other is as a favor to Susan. The Hawk case revolves around a good friend's son being turned down for tenure at a university as a result of a rumor that the Professor had cut off a homosexual relationship with a student resulting in the student killing himself. We learn more about Hawk's background and his anger at being hi This is Parker's 26th Spenser novel. In this one Spenser has two separate cases he is working on for his standard rate of pay-$0. One of the cases is as a favor to Hawk and the other is as a favor to Susan. The Hawk case revolves around a good friend's son being turned down for tenure at a university as a result of a rumor that the Professor had cut off a homosexual relationship with a student resulting in the student killing himself. We learn more about Hawk's background and his anger at being hit on as a young man by a homosexual professor. I enjoyed this case more than Susan's case. Susan's case involved a friend of hers who was convinced she was being stalked. Spenser sets out to find out who is the stalker and why she is being stalked. Once this is done Spenser "convinces" the stalker to knock it off. Susan's friend has then become in lust with Spenser and begins to stalk him. Spenser walks the line with KC Roth, and with others in books past, by allowing the ladies to drape themselves on him and often exchanging kisses with them. Spenser doesn't see this as cheating on Susan. Not sure she would see it that way. It is a two for one with this book which is rare for Spenser.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    100 out of 100 books for 2010. I figgin' did it! Hush Money, along with Sudden Mischief and Small Vices, form a trilogy of Parker's absolute best novels and the best of the Spenser series. In each of these, a major character--Susan, Spenser, and, in the case of Hush Money, Hawk--reveals something about her or his past, proves vulnerable, and grow in some way. This is also the first, and, I think, the only novel in the series in which Spenser takes a case pro bono as a favor to Hawk. On the surfac 100 out of 100 books for 2010. I figgin' did it! Hush Money, along with Sudden Mischief and Small Vices, form a trilogy of Parker's absolute best novels and the best of the Spenser series. In each of these, a major character--Susan, Spenser, and, in the case of Hush Money, Hawk--reveals something about her or his past, proves vulnerable, and grow in some way. This is also the first, and, I think, the only novel in the series in which Spenser takes a case pro bono as a favor to Hawk. On the surface, it is the tale of Robinson Nevins, an conservatie African American scholar who has been denied tenure unfairly. HOwever, there are two othe plot lines, a stalking case the the apparent suicide of a gay student activist at the university Nevins teaches at. The two cases, interestingly, do not intersect, but both are solved--one involves the always composed Susan in a fist fight--that she started! And in some ways the novel is prescient in that it involves a supposedly moral right wing activist involved in a hidden homeosexual scandal, a la Mark Foley in Florida. ALso, a very fund send up of academe and academic politics. All told, a satisfying read. If you read only a few of Parker's novels, read the three I mentioned. If you only read one, read this one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Interesting dual story. Spenser is asked by Hawk to look into his friend's tenure situation at a local college and is soon up to his neck in high-intellect conspiracy. Spenser's paramour, Susan, asks him to get to the bottom of her friend's stalker - an ex-boyfriend or ex-hubby. Alot of work for our hero, with not much of a return except for gratitude.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dan Smith

    With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavyweights.When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus r With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavyweights.When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumor mill, no one's willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist. At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K. C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional/client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Holli

    Like all of the Spenser books, this one has a whole lot going on and you can get lost easily among all the different twists and turns. And also like the books in this series, it is quite funny but can drive one crazy at the same time. Mr. Parker had a way with words and balanced it with such great humor it's hard to stay away from his books for too long. I like that we get a little more background on Hawk's character in this book. I think he's my favorite character in this series, though I love Like all of the Spenser books, this one has a whole lot going on and you can get lost easily among all the different twists and turns. And also like the books in this series, it is quite funny but can drive one crazy at the same time. Mr. Parker had a way with words and balanced it with such great humor it's hard to stay away from his books for too long. I like that we get a little more background on Hawk's character in this book. I think he's my favorite character in this series, though I love Spenser also. The audiobook of this one is read by Burt Reynolds, which startled me as I didn't know he did them. He has a good reading voice and did a good job with the book. However, my ebook copy seems to have a chapter in it that is completely missing from the audiobook itself. Which is interesting since it's supposed to be unabridged. Rather curious, and kind of annoying. Despite this, I enjoyed the book and look forward to more of this series. COYER: Book with a cover that is at least 51% blue - 1 point

  10. 5 out of 5

    William

    (The word "maroon" appears 4 times in this novel) 3.5 stars Two stories/cases interleaved reasonably well in this book. Action moderate, some holes left unplugged, pacing adequate. Not the worst Spenser, far from the best.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    In Hush Money, Parker’s 26th Spenser novel, Spenser agrees to take on two separate cases, the first as a favor to Hawk, and the second as a favor to Susan. The first case starts out as an investigation into the denial of tenure to a university professor, Robinson Nevins, whose father was an important mentor to Hawk. It quickly metastasizes into an investigation of extortion and suspected murder. The second case involves Susan’s friend KC Roth, who believes she is being stalked. The theme of integ In Hush Money, Parker’s 26th Spenser novel, Spenser agrees to take on two separate cases, the first as a favor to Hawk, and the second as a favor to Susan. The first case starts out as an investigation into the denial of tenure to a university professor, Robinson Nevins, whose father was an important mentor to Hawk. It quickly metastasizes into an investigation of extortion and suspected murder. The second case involves Susan’s friend KC Roth, who believes she is being stalked. The theme of integrity pervades the book. Robinson Nevins was denied tenure because of rumors that he had driven a gay student to suicide by ending an affair with him. Although Nevins denies having had a relationship with the student, his notion of integrity led him to refuse even to tell the tenure committee whether he was gay or straight. Susan Silverman later comments to Spenser, “‘That’s either great integrity or great foolishness.’” Spenser replies, “‘Integrity is often foolish.’” Meanwhile, some of the members of the committee that denied tenure to Professor Nevins have abandoned their integrity for hypocrisy. One professor who knew the truth about the professor voted to deny him tenure anyway because she thought he was “out of step with current racial thinking.” She pontificates, “A university faculty is special. It is a place, maybe the only place, where the ideal of a civil society still flourishes.” At that point in the story, Spenser had not figured out what had really happened. But he knows hypocrisy when he sees it, and he has often seen it in academic circles. “Whenever I got involved in anything related to a university, I was reminded of how seriously everyone took everything, particularly themselves, and I had to keep a firm grip on my impulse to make fun.” Nevins’s rival in the English Department, who also voted against tenure, is an activist gay Black Studies professor named Amir Abdullah. Hawk had an unpleasant history with him when he was younger, and Spenser soon pegs him as an opportunistic fraud. Not only did he have a relationship with the dead student and keep it quiet, but he now seems to be associating with a white supremacy group that is the antithesis of everything he claims to stand for. In Spenser’s view, Abdullah clearly lacks integrity. But Spenser worries about his own bias in investigating Abdullah. Is his investigation colored by racism and/or homophobia? In other words, he’s worrying about his own integrity. His friend, gay cop Lee Farrell, diagnoses Spenser’s problem: “‘Lemme tell you what’s bothering you. You’re chasing along after whatever it is that you can’t quite catch, and every gay person you encounter is sleazy, crooked, second-rate, and generally unpleasant. … And, being a basically decent guy, despite the smart mouth, you fear that maybe you are prejudiced and it’s clouding your judgment.’” Farrell says the same thing sometimes happens to him with blacks: “‘I spend two months on a drug-related homicide and everybody’s black, and everybody’s a vicious sleaze bag, and I begin to wonder, is it me?’” He reminds Spenser that they’re dealing with the worst parts of a culture: “‘You got a case involving murder and blackmail, most of the people you meet are going to be scumbags.’ ‘Regardless of race, creed, or color,’ I said. ‘Or sexual orientation.’” Spenser also has to wrestle with his own integrity when he meets with Susan’s friend KC Roth, the stalking victim. The very beautiful KC develops an obsessive attachment to Spenser and repeatedly tries to seduce him. As he resists her advances, she tries to break down his resolve with withering criticism of Susan: “‘What’s so great about Susan? … Seriously, what’s so special about her? I mean I’ve known her longer than you have, since we were in college. She’s so vain, for God’s sake. … And she’s so pretentious, for God’s sake.’” Some readers (like me) may be tempted to agree with her, but for Spenser, a betrayal of Susan would severely compromise his integrity. And it’s quite doubtful that this particular form of integrity seems foolish to him. I liked this Spenser mystery quite a bit, both for the quality of the story (in which Hawk is a prominent player—always a plus) and for Parker’s attempt to deal seriously with issues of discrimination. I would recommend this one quite highly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    I'd like to thank GR friend Gary for bringing this book to my attention. After two weeks of poor quality 17th century comedies, this was just what the doctor ordered. I enjoyed the banter and it contained a great deal less unnecessary description of places and buildings than the first two Spensers I read. I'm not used to chuckling through the old noir fiction, but I did this time, and boy was I glad. And not because it was cheesy noir, which it isn't. It just now clicked that Spenser is the origi I'd like to thank GR friend Gary for bringing this book to my attention. After two weeks of poor quality 17th century comedies, this was just what the doctor ordered. I enjoyed the banter and it contained a great deal less unnecessary description of places and buildings than the first two Spensers I read. I'm not used to chuckling through the old noir fiction, but I did this time, and boy was I glad. And not because it was cheesy noir, which it isn't. It just now clicked that Spenser is the original of TV's "Spenser for Hire" and Hawk is the original of the short-lived series of that name, but you get me out of the nineteenth century and I'm slow like that. I devoured it in the lulls of a very busy week; I am now about to toddle off and see if there is any more, especially with Hawk in it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    The environment within which Spenser is operating in this case has two components. The first is the denial of the academic tenure of a black man with a history with Hawk. The man’s father was a boxing trainer and a mentor to Hawk in his younger years, so we learn some background material on the enigmatic partner of Spenser. Hawk asks Spenser to investigate the matter and things get seedy very fast. For reasons that are explained, the normally unflappable Hawk goes somewhat berserk in beating up The environment within which Spenser is operating in this case has two components. The first is the denial of the academic tenure of a black man with a history with Hawk. The man’s father was a boxing trainer and a mentor to Hawk in his younger years, so we learn some background material on the enigmatic partner of Spenser. Hawk asks Spenser to investigate the matter and things get seedy very fast. For reasons that are explained, the normally unflappable Hawk goes somewhat berserk in beating up an academic. What seemingly is an instance of puzzling academic politics turns into a dangerous situation involving an extremely militant black man and a white supremacist organization. They are connected in a very intimate and physical way. The second component develops as a consequence of a request from Susan. Her old friend K. C. Roth is being stalked and there are two logical suspects but no evidence. Roth is a walking example of the emotionally needy, so she decides that her problems will be solved by having a sexual romp with Spenser. When he rejects her, Roth begins stalking him until Susan rather emphatically intervenes. This is another excellent story involving the wise-cracking yet extremely efficient detective. Like the other stories, the dialog between Spenser and Hawk is crisp, effective and amusing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott A. Miller

    Two cases at once? No problem. Another strong story from Parker, Spenser and the crew. Not much Belson or Quirk. Interestingly, I don’t often give the books full marks unless they are all significantly involved. I think this one is from 1997. The subject matter could have been today...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nanosynergy

    A book for Spenser fans. Spenser investigates two separate cases pro bono for Hawk and Susan. One is tracking down and stopping a stalker; the other is investigating a negative tenure decision. Being married to tenured faculty and having worked in higher education with faculty for over a decade, the latter was both interesting and amusing in its perspective on academia and faculty. And then there is Spenser's new office couch - a gift from long-time love Susan.... Not sure I'll be sitting on any A book for Spenser fans. Spenser investigates two separate cases pro bono for Hawk and Susan. One is tracking down and stopping a stalker; the other is investigating a negative tenure decision. Being married to tenured faculty and having worked in higher education with faculty for over a decade, the latter was both interesting and amusing in its perspective on academia and faculty. And then there is Spenser's new office couch - a gift from long-time love Susan.... Not sure I'll be sitting on anyone's office couch in the future after reading this book :>)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannan C

    While rummaging like a raccoon through the bowels of my family’s bookshelves, I came across a dusty book. On the cover was a cute little piggy with the title “Hush Money”. I was gonna put it back, as mysteries aren’t my thing, but then a note slipped out. The note was from my grandfather to my mother, telling her to enjoy the book and that he was glad she was a part of the family. It was this note, that made me want to read “Hush Money” by Robert B. Parker; in order to feel closer to both my mot While rummaging like a raccoon through the bowels of my family’s bookshelves, I came across a dusty book. On the cover was a cute little piggy with the title “Hush Money”. I was gonna put it back, as mysteries aren’t my thing, but then a note slipped out. The note was from my grandfather to my mother, telling her to enjoy the book and that he was glad she was a part of the family. It was this note, that made me want to read “Hush Money” by Robert B. Parker; in order to feel closer to both my mother and my grandfather, who both loved the author. The book is the twenty sixth volume in the “Spencer” series and thus follows the adventures of blunt speaking, hard hitting, Boston private eye known only by the name Spencer, his good friend Hawk, and his girlfriend Susan. Throughout the story we follow Spencer as he takes on two different pro-bono cases, one for Susan and one for Hawk. Susan’s case is about an old classmate of hers who is being stalked while Hawk’s case is about his old fighting coach’s son losing tenure at a university due to rumors being spread about him contributing to a young man’s suicide. The main storyline is that of Hawk’s case. Robinson Nevins is a black English professor at a local university who, when applying for tenure, was denied due to rumors about him having an affair with a male student and for being the reason said student committed suicide. This, of course, is not the case, as Nevins isn’t even gay. So Spencer and Hawk are on the case and thrown down a huge, crazy, rainbow filled rabbit hole. It turns out that the student didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. Furthermore, we learn that he was having a relationship with a professor by the name of Amir Abdullah and not Robinson Nevins. In another plot twist, the LGBTQ+ magazine he was running that outed important figures as gay was hiding a blackmailing scheme. Don’t want to be outed as gay? Better pay up to support the cause then. It seemed that Spencer and Hawk were creeping closer to solving the case when suddenly a bunch of butch men from a far right organization burst into Spencer’s office telling the two men to stay away from Amir or else! Why would they want to protect a militant black homosexual? I’ll leave that for you to find out. The second case is about Susan’s old university friend KC, who is being stalked by an over controlling ex-lover. The overall story arch is pretty short and straightforward, only taking about about half the book before the case is solved. However, the drama with the beautiful KC does not end when the stalker is brought to justice. For you see, no the KC is out of danger and lack a love interest she decides to turn her sights on none other then Spencer. Don’t worry though, Spencer remains faithful and Susan has a mean right hook. I have to say that I really enjoyed the book for multiple reasons. First off, I found Spencer and Hawk to be both relatable and hilarious. They both had a kind of sharp, dry humor. While few could appreciate it, those who did appreciated it tenfold. They were quick and witty and always keeping the reader on their toes. Speaking of which, I feel like the author had a lot of trust in the reader. His simple yet illusive way of writing forced the reader to think through some of the lines and actions in order to fully appreciate them. Another thing I liked is the way Robert B. Parker presented different issues. Throughout “Hush Money” it was put plain and simple that it didn’t matter if you were gay, straight, white, or black, anyone could be either good or bad. He didn’t hold gay people on a pedestal which so many modern authors are doing; in fact, I believe that Parker humanized LGBTQ+ people better than most books I’ve read due to the fact that he didn’t treat them as LGBTQ+ people, he just treated them like people. The same can be said for how he treated African American people. Finally though, one of the best things about the book was, oddly enough, the character of Susan. You may or may not know this but I tend to hate female characters. No, not because I am sexist, but because I personally find male characters more relatable. I also tend to believe that good, strong female characters are hard to write. Susan though, is apparently the exception to this line of thought. Honestly, she is probably one of the most relatable, down to earth female characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. She is strong, independent, intelligent, and she doesn’t even flaunt any of it like most modern, strong, female characters do. She is a feminist without her entire character being a feminist, if you know what I mean; and I love her to death. There were of course, some downsides to the book. To me, it felt like every side character had very similar personalities. Now, this could just be because of Parker’s writing style or it could be because they weren’t as fleshed out as the main three but nevertheless, I still feel like most of the characters (excluding the major villains and KC) were kind of bland and stagnant at times, which was kind of disappointing when compared to the main three (Spencer, Hawk, Susan). Another thing is that I wasn’t exactly sure of the timeline. I am pretty sure that a few seasons past from how Parker described the weather, but if that is the case then how come these two cases were taking so long? And how was Spencer paying the bills if he wasn’t getting any money for these two jobs? It was kind of weird, if I’m being honest. That being said though, as these are the only two major flaws of the book, I highly recommend you give “Hush Money” By Robert B. Parker a read as I, most certainly, will begin to read the rest of the Spencer series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Wilson

    Tenure, I am not sure I agree with getting tenure, especially after the woman in Fresno disparaged Barbara Bush SO badly! But then Spenser wants justice to the end result. And then KC, OMG, what a great "friend" to Susan. I am so glad Susan punched her but next time Susan will do it the correct way. Page 23 . . . "Any thought that maybe he got Brodied?" "Sure," Belson said. "you know you always think about that, but there's nothing to suggest it. And when there isn't, we like to close the case." P Tenure, I am not sure I agree with getting tenure, especially after the woman in Fresno disparaged Barbara Bush SO badly! But then Spenser wants justice to the end result. And then KC, OMG, what a great "friend" to Susan. I am so glad Susan punched her but next time Susan will do it the correct way. Page 23 . . . "Any thought that maybe he got Brodied?" "Sure," Belson said. "you know you always think about that, but there's nothing to suggest it. And when there isn't, we like to close the case." Page 49. . . I took in a deep breath nd let it out, and hit one of them on the back of his neck behind his right ear, and the fight was on. . . . Page 166 . . . "University politics is very odd. You get a lot of people gathered together who, if they couldn't do this, really couldn't do anything. They are given to think that they are both intelligent and important because they have Ph.D.s and most people don't. Often, though not always, the Ph.D. does indicate mastery over a subject. But that's all it indicates, and, unfortunately, many people with Ph.D.s think it covers a wider area than it does. They think it empowers their superior insight into government and foreign policy and race relations and such. In addition these people are put into an environment where daily, they judge themselves against a standard set by eighteen- Page 167 or twenty-year-old kids who know little if anything about the subject matter in which their professors are expert." . . .

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert Stack

    A great author like Parker can tease interest in the first couple of pages and that’s what happened to me here. Spenser is working on two pro-bono cases and they weave in and out of each other in a style that keeps the novel moving at a thoroughly enjoyable pace. One of the cases involves an academic mystery that quickly gets seedy and violent. The other involves a stalker that has an eerie twist that really ups the tension. Spenser handles everything with his normal wit and nearly superhuman ca A great author like Parker can tease interest in the first couple of pages and that’s what happened to me here. Spenser is working on two pro-bono cases and they weave in and out of each other in a style that keeps the novel moving at a thoroughly enjoyable pace. One of the cases involves an academic mystery that quickly gets seedy and violent. The other involves a stalker that has an eerie twist that really ups the tension. Spenser handles everything with his normal wit and nearly superhuman calm and we get great insight into Hawk as well. If you like Spenser novels this one is well worth your time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    Maybe 3.5 stars? Another solid entry into the Spenser series of books. I realize Parker is trying to be progressive in his writings and show that he is super smart. But this "even the gays can be bad" take does not age well into the current social understanding of gender roles and all that. Could also have done with less of the American NAZI leader not being the bad guy. Not even going into the whole stalker thing. Besides these issues I have with the story it was otherwise a sold detective story. Maybe 3.5 stars? Another solid entry into the Spenser series of books. I realize Parker is trying to be progressive in his writings and show that he is super smart. But this "even the gays can be bad" take does not age well into the current social understanding of gender roles and all that. Could also have done with less of the American NAZI leader not being the bad guy. Not even going into the whole stalker thing. Besides these issues I have with the story it was otherwise a sold detective story. Spenser actually went looking for and finding clues with almost no punching to obtain information. That was a great part of the story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Higgs

    Unlike the last Spenser novel I read, this one had a lot more pith, and rather fewer shoot-em-ups. And it was more entertaining, probably as a result. Plus the dialog between the characters, especially between Spenser and Hawk, was better -- producing at least one or two audible chuckles from me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    alan reeve

    Excellent Another great read. The books from the Robert b Parker stable are consistently unputdownable. I always read them in two or three sittings. Never boring and always amusing.this was no exception.spot on

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bil Armstrong

    Good spenser romp I like Spencer books and this is a good one. Two treads with a few twists excellent story. Try early books first.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Redwan Hasan

    Don't think a criminal(!) organization can sustain with a head that limp but it sustained! Just a story after all.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Loved it This book is Robert B Parker at his best, fast moving, gritty, complex, funny and profound. I recommend this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    This is definitely a superior Spenser novel. Spenser gets called into two individual cases, one at the behest of Susan and the other at Hawk's. A friend of Susan's is getting stalked, and it turns out she's halfway to crazytown herself. It's great that this woman harasses and eggs on Spenser until he's discombobulated, but it's always been interesting how he kisses these random women - or is at least kissed by these random women. On Hawk's case, RBP talks a lot about gay and racial politics, whi This is definitely a superior Spenser novel. Spenser gets called into two individual cases, one at the behest of Susan and the other at Hawk's. A friend of Susan's is getting stalked, and it turns out she's halfway to crazytown herself. It's great that this woman harasses and eggs on Spenser until he's discombobulated, but it's always been interesting how he kisses these random women - or is at least kissed by these random women. On Hawk's case, RBP talks a lot about gay and racial politics, which is always enlightening since he's libertarian in regards to both. In two very touching scenes, Spenser talks with a mother who's son has died from an apparent suicide. RBP handles these intimate scenes extremely well. They're very touching and her grief is palpable. It's odd at the end that he doesn't revisit her to tell her that her son was murdered and did not commit suicide. I wonder if that was intentional or an oversight. Perhaps he thought it was best left to our own devices.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Metagion

    This time Hawk brings Spenser a case involving a gent who didn't get tenure at the local college, and when there's a suspicious death involved (a staged suicide) and things don't add up, it could be one hell of a ride! The second case involved a woman whose ex-lover is stalking her, and develops a rather *troublesome* crush on Spenser...(which he would've acted on had it not been for Susan being the love of his life) and who Susan had to *forcefully* dissuade from further bothering her 'honeybun This time Hawk brings Spenser a case involving a gent who didn't get tenure at the local college, and when there's a suspicious death involved (a staged suicide) and things don't add up, it could be one hell of a ride! The second case involved a woman whose ex-lover is stalking her, and develops a rather *troublesome* crush on Spenser...(which he would've acted on had it not been for Susan being the love of his life) and who Susan had to *forcefully* dissuade from further bothering her 'honeybunny' ;) Lots of snappy dialogue and intriguing cases involving suicide (but really murder), blackmail, bigotry, stalking, rape, and a lot of driving around, but mostly how things could work "behind the scenes" and how Spenser--former cop, professional PI-turned-thug--relates to Susan, to Hawk, and the friendship and loyalty of both (personally I love the relationship between Spenser & Susan...I think it's adorable and admirable). Enjoy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    There is a cute cover illustration--a bright pink piggy bank with a bill around its snout. This time Spenser and Hawk are pursuing two different cases--one of which Hawk brought to him. A young man was pushed out his window, rather than jumping himself. It involves a scheme which bilks gay men about being outed. Susan asks him to help an old friend, KC Roth, who is being stalked. KC obsesses about Spenser, and is a general nuisance.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    Realizing that most later Spensers seem to be written at least partly in the satirical or parodic modes, this entry is one time that the flattening/cartoonishness of the satirical mode keeps the novel from achieiving its full potential. Parker's covering some unusual ground for him here and I hoped for more interesting treatment of it than it wound up being. Still, pretty compelling read until a late plot twist strains credulity.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shuriu

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. She kept her eyes downcast and was silent. It was a pose, but I didn't think it was an insincere one. In fact didn't find her insincere at all. Rather she seemed to have been playing this role, whatever it was, for so long, that she probably didn't have any idea when she was sincere and when she wasn't. (p. 32) We were quiet. She was thinking, and, as she did everything else, she dramatized thinking. Her eyes narrowed, she got a vertical wrinkle between her eyebrows. Her lips pursed slightly. I She kept her eyes downcast and was silent. It was a pose, but I didn't think it was an insincere one. In fact didn't find her insincere at all. Rather she seemed to have been playing this role, whatever it was, for so long, that she probably didn't have any idea when she was sincere and when she wasn't. (p. 32) We were quiet. She was thinking, and, as she did everything else, she dramatized thinking. Her eyes narrowed, she got a vertical wrinkle between her eyebrows. Her lips pursed slightly. I waited. Finally she leaned back and shifted on the couch so that she could hug her knees while she talked. (p. 33) She began to cry. I waited, letting the question hang. She placed her hands over her face, being careful of her makeup, and cried some more. I was pretty sure I was supposed to go and sit on the couch and put my arm around her, in which case she would turn and bury her head on my shoulder and weep as if her heart would break. I stayed where I was. Finally after waiting as long as was decorous she stopped crying and lowered her hands, and raised her head so she could look searchingly into my eyes. (p. 34) "She didn't threaten you when you dumped her?" I said. "With what?" "Tell your wife?" "No. She wouldn't. She's not like that. She's a really sappy broad, but she's not mean. Besides I think she likes the drama. She's all drama. She likes the drama of a clandestine affair, and she likes the drama of a sorrowful breakup, and being heartbroken and all of that." Vincent was a little smarter than he seemed. Or I was as dumb as he was. I too thought that life for KC was a series of dramatic renditions. (p. 74-75) "And I don't need a lot of holy-than-thou crap from some guy I've hired." "I think that's holier," I said, "holier than thou." "And don't patronize me." Lucky I was a liberated guy and perfectly correct in my sexual attitudes or I might have said something under my breath about women. "KC," I said. "I'm trying, with some difficulty, and against most of my genetic programming, to avoid sex with you in a pleasant fashion. Maybe it can't be done. Maybe the closest I can get to it is to patronize you." (p. 121-122) "So tell me about Susan," she said. "What is it she does to make you like this?" "It has to do with love, I think." "But how does she get you to do what she wants?" "She doesn't," I said. "I want to do what she wants." "But she must do something." "What she does," I said, "is she tries not to want me to do things I don't want to do." "I'm serious." "Me too," I said. KC stared at me, she crossed her bare legs and stared some more. Finally she said, "I don't get it." "No," I said. "You don't." (p. 122) "When you were sitting by my bedside," KC said, "after the . . . that awful thing happened to me, I thought maybe I might be more than just someone who had hired you to be here." I didn't like the way this conversation was going. "Part of the service," I said. She put her hand out and placed it firmly on top of mine, and stared into my eyes. "God damn it," she said, "can't you see I love you?" I felt like I'd wandered into a remake of Stella Dallas. "I don't think so," I said. "I rescued you from a bad situation. And you need to be in love with someone to feel secure and you don't have anyone else to love at the moment, and I'm hand and you think I'm it." (p. 249) "He never says anything when he calls." "Most people don't," I said. If she thought I was amusing she didn't let on. (p. 36) . . . her plainness seemed a deliberate affectation. Had she chosen to treat her appearance differently, she might have been pretty good-looking. She was in the thirty-five to forty range, tallish, maybe 5'8", brown hair worn long, no makeup, loose-fitting clothes straight from the J. Crew catalog. Large round eyeglasses, quite thick, with undistinguished frames, a mannish white shirt, chino slacks, white ankle socks, and sandals. She wore no jewelry. No nail polish. Her most forceful grooming statement was that she seemed clean. (p. 48) "University politics is very odd. You get a lot of people gathered together who, if they couldn't do this, really couldn't do anything. They are given to think that they are both intelligent and important because they have Ph.D.s and most people don't. Often, though not always, the Ph.D. does indicate mastery over a subject. But that's all it indicates, and, unfortunately, many people with Ph.D.s think it covers a wider area than it does. They think it empowers their superior insight into government and foreign policy and race relations and such. In additions these people are put into an environment where daily, they judge themselves against a standard set by eighteen- or twenty-year-old kids who know little if anything about the subject matter in which their professors are expert." "Makes it hard not to take yourself very seriously," I said. "Hard, not impossible," Harmon said. "More of them ought to be able to do it." "But they can't?" "But they don't. Exemplar of the species is Lillian Temple. There is no liberal agenda, however goofy, that will not attract her attention. There is no hypocrisy, however bald, that she will not endure if she can convince herself that it is in the service of right thinking." (p. 141) "Since he is gay and black, Lillian feels obligated to like and admire him." . . . . "Since Robinson Nevins is black and alleged to be gay, why doesn't Lillian Temple feel obligated to like and admire him?" "Because he is a relatively conservative black. Which completely confuses Lillian." "Harder to feel the white person's burden," I said, "if he's not asking for help." "Exactly," Harmon said. . . . "I could still pay attention to Robinson because he tries to base his views on what he has seen and experienced, rather than on a set of reactions preordained by race or social class." (p. 142-143) Robinson took in a long breath and let it out slowly. "Most straight black men know someone like Lillian," he said. "She has very little connection to what people outside of English departments sometimes refer to as the real world. She doesn't do things because they would be fun, or they would be profitable, or they would be wise. She does things because they conform to some inner ideal she has structured out of her reading." (p. 227) "She'll be unfaithful to Bass again." "Because what she really liked was the sex?" I said. "As long as she could disguise it under a mound of high-mindedness." (p. 228) "It's breathtaking," I said. "You have ruined a man's career by repeating a slanderous allegation you know to be false, and you still find a way to mouth moralistic platitudes when you're caught." "I'm sorry you think the right to privacy is a moralistic platitude." "I am also not sure if you know that you keep diverting the topic or not. I don't think you're smart enough, but now and then I'm fooled." (p. 237) "Robinson is a decent man, but he . . . he has no place on a university faculty. He is not . . . how to say this . . . he is not consistent with current best thinking on racial matters." "How is he at teaching English?" I said. "That's a fallacy. A university faculty is not simply about teaching, it is about creating and passing on culture. The university is a place where the best minds must be allowed freedom to contemplate the most basic human issues. A university faculty is the progenitor and propagator of culture." I was certainly glad I had said "by whom" a while ago. "Would you say Robinson is out of step with current racial thinking in the sense that he does not see it as genocidal to teach dead white men in his classes?" "That's part of it, though of course you would put it in a way that makes it sound puerile." "So you felt obligated to lie about him to the tenure committee because he was not the right kind of black guy," I said. "Again you have demeaned my point," she said. "Someone ought to," I said. "I'm glad I could be the one." (p. 239) "I am happy to help with this. I don't want Jennifer's mother to be stalked." "Do you still love her?" I said. "Yes," he said. "But less than I used to and in time I won't." "Good," I said. (p. 55) "Kleenex?" Susan said. "Women are like Kleenex?" "Un huh. Use and discard. There's plenty more." I watched her ears closely to see if any steam escaped. But she was controlled. "The man is an absolute fucking pig," she said. "There's that," I said. "I want him to be the stalker." "Because he's a pig?" "Yes." "Does he fit the profile?" Susan glared at me for a moment, before she said, "No." "He appears to be one of the masters of the universe," I said. "Good-looking,well married, good job, lots of dough, endless poon tang on the side . Stalkers are sully losers." "I know." "It's usually about control," I said. "Isn't it?" "Yes." "I'd guess this guy is in control." "Not of his libido," Susan said. "No, maybe not," I said. "On the other hand KC wasn't bopping him under duress." Susan gave a long sigh. "No," Susan said, "she wasn't." (p. 77-78) "Suicides often appear happy prior to the suicide," Susan said. "They've decided to do it." "Thus solving all their problems." "And getting even with whomever they are getting even." "Which is usually why people do it?" "Yes," Susan said. "The pathology is often similar, oddly enough, to the pathology which causes stalking -- see what you've made me do is a kind of back door control. It forces emotion from the object of your ambivalence." (p. 79) "What I think we should do is go take a shower and brush our teeth and lie on my bed and se what kind of theory we can develop." "I'm pretty sure I know what will develop," I said. "Should we shower together?" Susan said. "If we do, things may develop too soon." "Good point," Susan said. "I'll go first." (p. 81) "And maybe not everyone gets it," I said. "Gets what?" "Susan's pretty good at irony." "What's that mean?" "She understands herself well enough to make fun of herself," I said. "You'll defend her no matter what I say, won't you?" "Yep." (p. 87) "You're completely pragmatic," I said. "You don't care what people call you. You don't care if people are annoying. You don't care about color. You don't get mad, you don't get sentimental. You don't hold a grudge. You don't get scared, or confused, or boisterous, or jealous. You don't hate anyone. You don't love . . . many. You don't mind violence. You don't enjoy violence." (p. 98-99) "Few people are more all right than Hawk," I said. "He's very contained." "Very." "And he pays a high price for it," Susan said. "You think?" "The distance between containment and isolation is not so great," Susan said. "He's got a lot of women," I said. "But not one," Susan said. (p. 105) "You ever fuck Susan here?" she said, her face alms touching mine. "I'm impressed," I said. "The question is intrusive, annoying, coarse, and voyeuristic, that's quite a lot to get into a simple question." (p. 120) "Well, I am badly overeducated. I can only relate well to women who are also badly overeducated." "And most of those women are white." "Yes." (p. 223) "You know, the funny thing, I have no interest in sex with other men, but I am, in many ways, more at home in the gay community than the straight. I found the gay world readily accepting of a black man and a white woman. No one expected me to be Michael Jordan." (p. 224) "He has created himself in the image of a black revolutionary, without any vestige of a philosophical ground. I am not by nature a revolutionary or an activist, but I can respect people who genuinely are. Amir is not. He is a contrivance. He gets what he wants by accusing anyone who opposes him of being a racist or a homophobe." "Or a Tom," I said. "Yes." (p. 226) She listened as I talked as she always did, with full attention, her eyes fed on me. I could feel the charge in her. I could feel the energy between us. It made talking to her a lush experience. (p. 264)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paula Dembeck

    In this addition to the series Spenser takes on two pro bono cases for close friends Hawk and Susan. Hawk asks him to look into the case of Robert Nevins, a university professor denied tenure because of his alleged affair with a male student who committed suicide when their relationship ended. Nevins is a nationally known figure in the black community, author of a dozen books and a frequent guest on TV shows. He is well qualified and believes he was denied tenure because of a smear campaign. Som In this addition to the series Spenser takes on two pro bono cases for close friends Hawk and Susan. Hawk asks him to look into the case of Robert Nevins, a university professor denied tenure because of his alleged affair with a male student who committed suicide when their relationship ended. Nevins is a nationally known figure in the black community, author of a dozen books and a frequent guest on TV shows. He is well qualified and believes he was denied tenure because of a smear campaign. Someone spread a rumor that he had a sexual relationship with Prentice Lamont an openly gay graduate student who leaped ten stories to his death when the relationship ended. Nevins insists there is absolutely no truth to the rumour. Hawk knows Robinson’s father Bobby Nevins, a man who trained him as a boxer and was there for him when he was young. Hawk feels he owes Bobby who came closer to being a father to him than anyone he knew. He would like Spenser to see what he can do for Bobby’s son and is ready to help in whatever way he can. Spenser learns that Prentice Lamont, a gay activist, published a flyer from his apartment with two other students Robert Walters (aka Walt) and William Ainsworth (aka Willy). The flyer, called OUTrageous, was a mix of articles that explored gay issues, included the latest gossip and a column that “outed” prominent gay men who preferred to keep their sexual orientation secret. When Spenser interviews Willy and Walt, they insist Robinson was not gay and are skeptical about the story of Lamont jumping to his death. When Spenser examines the scene of the supposed suicide, he also questions the story. is it possible Lamont was pushed? Spenser visits the university to meet two members of the tenure committee, Lillian Temple and Amir Abdullah, the only two people to claim they had seen Lamont and Nevins together. The deliberations of the committee are kept secret by virtue of the university’s by-laws, so there is no way Spenser can check the records to see if the alleged relationship between Nevins and Lamont and Lamont’s suicide ever came to their attention. They are two very interesting and distinctive characters. Temple is a bit bohemian, a woman who dresses in a deliberately unattractive way and Abdullah is a conceited black man with an attitude who flaunts his heritage like a red flag at a bull. When Spenser meets Temple she admits the rumour was discussed at the tenure meeting but refuses to say how she voted. When he and Hawk subsequently meet Abdullah, the man goes out of his way to throw an insult Hawk’s way. There is a scuffle, fists fly and Spenser and Hawk leave Abdullah’s office feeling better than Abdullah who is left behind picking himself off the floor. Spenser continues to poke away at the problem in his usual way, trying to get a reaction and a starting point to uncover the truth. To do so he must determine whether there was or was not a relationship between Nevins and Lamont. If there was, why did people not know about it and if there was not, why did people say there was? His second pro bono case comes as a favor to Susan. Her friend K.C. Roth who recently divorced, tells Susan she is being stalked. She receives weird telephone calls, gets eerie music on her answering machine, found a nail in her flat tire and the man she is dating has received a threatening letter. She thinks the stalker is her ex-husband Burton Roth, who she abandoned when she began dating another man. She has contacted the police who she feels have done nothing. When K.C. divorced her husband to marry her lover Louis Vincent, he promptly left her. Louis was married and refused to leave his wife, so now K.C. is alone and lonely. The police tell Spenser they have been keeping an eye on things but there is no sign of a stalker. They wonder if there really is one, or if K.C. is imagining things. When Spenser meets Louis Vincent he fines a handsome well-mannered man with a good job, lots of money and endless opportunities for extra marital sex . Louis says he is happily married and intends to stay that way. He left K.C. when she left her husband and talked about love and marriage, while he was only interested in a sexual romp. He insists he has plenty of other women to play with, is not a heart broken loser and thinks she made up the stalking thing. Spenser tries to continue working with K.C. but he is wary as she makes concerted efforts to seduce him. The tables are turned and Spenser feels stalked himself. When K.C. won’t leave him alone, Susan intervenes, delivering an uncharacteristic but effective blow to K.C.’s predatory attentions. This addition to the series has all the usual bits Spenser’s fans enjoy including the dialogue with Hawk, the unending admiration of Spenser for Susan, some complicated relationships to unravel, great food and a little rough and tumble, free for all type brawls. It is another entertaining fun read for Spenser’s many loyal fans.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.