Bad Business by Robert B. Parker 2004

One of the better Parkers of his late phase with lots of clever, quick repartee between Spenser, Susan Silverman, Hawk, Vinnie and others.

The plot is a bit thin involving a crooked scheme by the executives at a publicly traded energy company, a serial murderer, a radio talk show ‘free love’ advocate, some other private detectives, and the ever-solid Frank Belsen and Marty Quirk of the BPD and Healy of the State Police.  Lots of good Cambridge and Boston landmarks cited.

Perhaps the best part of this book was when one of the women who Spenser was guarding asked about him, Hawk, and Vinnie, and Susan Silverman launched into a roster of all the ‘good guys’ who operated as a team without any formal recognition of the organization and its operating rules.  Old friends like The Chief, Chollo from LA, Tedi Sapp from Georgia, Bernard J. Fortunato from Las Vegas as well as the aforementioned Quirk, Belson, and Healy plus Lee Farrell.  All working independently to stamp out evil and sharing an unspoken moral code.

I had not noticed before how much Spenser and Jack Reacher resemble each other.  Spenser is far more clever with the funny reponse but both find it impossible to walk away from a situation where an innocent party is getting the shaft.  Both have a moral code and can handle the rough stuff though Reacher is much more likely to kill people. Also, he has no Susan Silverman to civilize him.  My guess is that Lee Child went to school on Parker and now has the field to himself.