RARA-AVIS: Re: Recent finds on opposite sides of the continent

From: J.C. Hocking ( jchocking@yahoo.com)
Date: 13 Apr 2008

"Was there a specific point at which the Spenser novels became less interesting?"

Which was the one that ends with Spenser setting up a meet with two mobsters, knowing they'll try to take him out, and uses the opportunity to kill them? This was a fairly hardboiled sequence, but Parker grossly undermined it by having Susan deliver a prolonged explanation of what Spenser did, why he did it, and how it is making him feel. That scene shut down my reading of the series permanently. It wasn't so much that Susan served as Spenser's conscience as that the author felt obliged to guide the reader, step-by-step, through the protagonist's thoughts and mental state. Geez, talk about telling rather than showing. Seemed to me to fly in the face of all the best noir and hardboiled writing I'd found by discarding one of its primary virtues.


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