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3.3 out of 5 stars15
3.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews(2 star).Show all reviews
on December 22, 2000
After reading this book, I had to re-read the editorial hype in disbelief. Anyone who can't tell where Chandler left off and Parker took over is blind. Philip Marlowe was certainly an inspiration for Parker's Spenser character, so you'd expect some similarities, even if they were written by two different authors. But in this book, Marlowe does both a time-warp and a personality transformation right around Chapter Four, so that by the end of the story he walks and talks and acts like a wisecracking private eye from modern Boston - the only character that Parker seems able to write well. As if that's not bad enough, Marlowe appears to quit smoking somewhere in the middle, and he and his wife end with the same can't-live-with-you, can't-live-without-you relationship (we can still be lovers! she cheerfully declares after asking for a divorce) that is at the heart of the Spenser and Susan novels. Susan Silverman has a lot of complicated reasons to settle for less than a traditional marriage, but Mrs. Marlowe doesn't. The mystery isn't too bad if you like lots of lurid sex and murder, but it doesn't justify the sloppy writing. The end is unsatisfying because the baddest guy of all not only gets away, but gets Marlowe's assistance because, again like Spenser, he's a sucker for a nice woman in love with her man - even if the man is a scumbag. All in all, unless you're a serious fan and HAVE to read everything Parker has written (in other words, unless you're doomed like me), I'd recommend reading Chandler if you like Chandler, and Parker if you like Parker. Mixing them produced a foul smell.
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