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A Savage Place by Robert B. Parker
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A Savage Place (1981)

by Robert B. Parker

Series: Spenser (8)

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For my review please see my blog: Martin's View: A Savage Place. ( )
  Martin_Maenza | Apr 14, 2017 |
For a second book in a row, Spenser did not get shot or beaten (or both). Change in the direction of the series or just a couple of books? We will see in the next ones.

Which does not make the book less violent than usual - people get beaten (and Spenser does some of the beating), people get dead and Spenser even manages to get arrested. What the book is lacking are Susan and Hawk - none of them make an appearance in the flesh or over the phone. It is strange - in previous books outside of Boston, Parker still managed to get them into the picture, including Hawk flying to Europe to help. But not here.

We do see someone we had met before - Rachel Wallace calls Spenser to tell him that he was recommended by her to a friend of hers in Los Angeles. Enter Candy Sloan - a reporter in LA that had stumbled upon some mafia-connected studio executives and now requires a bodyguard. So Spenser packs his suitcases and goes West. Of course things start as bad as possible for everyone involved, a man gets killed and somewhere in the whole mess, Spenser ends up in his client's bed (which is not that surprising all things considered). Then things get really complicated - more people die, more people get beaten, more connections that should not exist get uncovered. Add a police detective that wants to help (and does at the end) and the streets of LA and you have a complete cast of characters.

The story is somewhat predictable in places as most of the Spenser novels but it is peppered with the usual humor (not always PC one) and the views of a man that tries but not always succeed to be an evolved one. I had more issues with Candy - some of her reactions were one-tone - a raging feminist that does stupid things just because she wants to prove something. It may be a sign of the times (the novel was written in 1981 after all) but it did sound a bit too "in the face". She did remind me Rachel Wallace from a previous book though - even without the connection at the start.

I like the series - the humor and the food and clothing commentary (all of them delivered by Spenser - you really need to read it to appreciate the latter) make the series a lot better than it should be - considering that its overall testosterone-filled language and actions. Spenser is a strange detective but his stories are entertaining. Off to the next one. ( )
  AnnieMod | Jan 15, 2017 |
I had never read a book by this author but needed a real quick read and this fit. Well developed characters with just enough background of the series so the reader doesn't seem to be missing any information regarding Spenser the private eye. Also it didn't feel dated even though it is from the 1980's. ( )
  zmagic69 | Oct 24, 2016 |
The Candy Sloane novel - a common touchstone for Spenser in the later novels - so important to the development of the character if you're reading through the series. That said, it stands alone as they all do, with the usual attention to detail, nuance of observation, and build of narrative tension. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Apr 7, 2016 |
Rachel Wallace calls Spenser to ask him to help Candy Sloan, a Los Angeles TV news reporter with a story uncovering corruption in the movies. There are discussions about feminism; but Candy, who says she wants to prove that she is more than just a pretty face, is quite willing to use her pretty face as a means to gather information.

The copy I read, while it says November 1987 on the verso of the title page, mentions that Mr. Parker died in 2010 on the inside of the back cover. ( )
  raizel | Jan 5, 2015 |
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Epigraph
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down teh green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanged
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan"

Dedication
For Joan, No one is as interesting, nor nearly so luminous.
First words
I was sitting in my office above the bank with my tie loose and my feet up, reading a book called Play of Double Senses: Spenser's Fairie Queene.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440180953, Paperback)

TV reporter Candy Sloan has eyes the color of cornflowers and legs that stretch all the way to heaven. She also has somebody threatening to rearrange her lovely face if she keeps on snooping into charges of Hollywood racketeering.

Spenser's job is to keep Candy healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career. But her star witness has just bowed out with three bullets in his chest, two tough guys have doubled up to test Spenser's skill with his fists, and Candy is about to use her own sweet body as live bait in a deadly romantic game--a game that may cost Spenser his life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Private-eye Spenser is in Hollywood to protect a beautiful reporter investigating corruption and racketeering in the movie industry, and together they search for a murderer in Tinsel Town.

» see all 3 descriptions

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