This is the worst of the Spenser novels. FBI agent Dennis Doherty walks into Spenser's office and asks him to follow his wife, as he believes that she is having an affair. After he takes the case, Spenser has no difficulty in proving that she is involved with Perry Alderson, a professor and leader of a terrorist group. When Doherty confronts his wife with the evidence and kicks her out of the house, she goes to Alderson and he refuses to allow her to stay with him. Shortly after this, Doherty's wife is killed and the assassin is immediately killed by Spenser operative Vinnie Morris. There is nothing that can be used to identify the slain assassin, so it clear that it was a very professional job. When Doherty is killed, the FBI and other major governmental groups join in the investigation. When Spenser informs Alderson that he has a tape of him plotting terrorist acts, Alderson sends operatives after Susan Silverman only to be thwarted by Hawk and Vinnie Morris. Morris kills another Alderson operative in the battle. That operative also cannot be identified. After all this buildup, the climactic battle between the Alderson forces and Spenser's group is very weak. Parker describes the Alderson operatives in the battle as untalented amateurs; there is no hint of the level of professionalism used earlier. The domestic terrorism plotline is not used, there is no hint of the foiling of any terrorist conspiracy, that scenario seems to have been included just to attract attention.
Much like Stuart Woods has most of his novels in the Stone Barrington series open at a certain New York restaurant, Robert B. Parker has his open in the classic and some would argue clichéd way of beginning at Spenser's office in Boston with a client walking in the door. While both series written by their respective authors feature a lack of character development for the most part as well as limited description of the surroundings in favor of a quick read, the books are very different with Robert … more
One of the reasons fans of Robert B. Parker keep coming back for more is the characters. Now and Then has a great plot, but it also continues to develop the characters it is so well known for - Spenser, Susan, and Hawk, as well as a couple of old favorites, Vinie and Chollo. In Now and Then, Spenser takes on a case we don't see him accept too often. Dennis Doherty hires him to find out if his wife is cheating on him. In the course of the investigation Spenser runs across a … more
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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