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Now and Then

A book by Robert B. Parker

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The worst Spenser novel so far

  • Sep 16, 2008
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.

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More Now and Then reviews
review by . February 17, 2008
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 clich├ęd 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 …
review by . November 04, 2007
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 …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #76
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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About this book


When a client who suspects his wife is cheating on him is murdered in Parker's 35th snappy Spenser adventure (afterHundred-Dollar Baby), the Boston PI takes it personally, not only because the case resonates with Spenser's past history with love interest Susan, but also because, like Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, Spenser feels he can't let a client get murdered without doing something about it. The repartee is up to Parker's high standards, and the detection is hands on and straightforward, with Spenser carrying the load. Since Spenser's aides, including the stalwart Hawke, outclass the heavies, Spenser has time to deal with the mysterious other man, Perry Alderson, whose academic background appears as suspect as his dealings with various subversive groups. This briskly paced cat-and-mouse game offers Spenser fans exactly what they've come to expect from the reliable Parker—no-nonsense action and plenty of romantic give-and-take between Susan and Spenser, who even find the subject of marriage intruding once more.(Oct.)
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ISBN-10: 0399154418
ISBN-13: 978-0399154416
Author: Robert B. Parker
Publisher: Putnam Adult

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