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 rather odd character, Perry Alderson, who supposedly heads up a counterculture organization who is indeed with Mr. Doherty's wife. And who is a rather bad guy too. He makes the mistake of getting on the wrong side of Spenser and away the story goes.
This is a rather unique Spenser story as we see him struggle with events of the past that the present case bring to the fore - specifically the period of time that Susan left him for another man. This strongly and explicitly colors the case, at least to the eyes of those closest to him, as Spenser has to make some ethical choices on what to do during the course of his investigation. And the relationship between Susan and Spenser takes on a new twist and turn.
This is one of the more enjoyable Spenser novels. Not only is the plot well done and interesting but the characters are great too and it takes us to new places.
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, … more
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