Englischsprachige Literatur

Parker Robert B.


Dell/Random House, New York 1988


 Dr Parker, born 1932, wrote his literary thesis on Hammett, Chandler, and Ross MacDonald, and was Professor of English literature, so he knows, how and what to write to meet his readers´expectations.

Although I tried to get an early Spenser novel, “Valediction” (1984) is already the 11th of the Spenser series. Here his obviously long-term lover Susan leaves him for a professorship in California, so he is left in Boston to deal with his loss. But do not pity him too much, his friend Paul, a dancer, moves in with him, and his brave black buddy Hawk looks after him, while Spenser is looking for Sherry, the dancer-girlfriend of Paul´s boss.

Spenser-fans will know all these characters, for a newcomer it´s a bit confusing and Spenser´s emotional aches and pains not too convincing. Anyway, the plot develops as it is supposed to do. Sherry has found shelter with the “Bullies”, a right-wing militant religious group, whose leader Bullard Winston sends his bullies after Spenser, when the P.I. looks too closely into his organisation. But Spenser is not to be deterred, kills single-handedly four of the gang and plods on until he finds the source of Winston´s well-filled coffers, drug money, what else.

Several times Hawk has to get Spenser out of tough situations, but in the end, and with a not too surprising little twist, the case is solved, and even Susan wants to come back to Spenser.
A good read, but nothing really fascinating or new in the world of crime fiction.