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Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker

Early Autumn (1981)

by Robert B. Parker

Series: Spenser (7)

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1,0322312,479 (3.93)47



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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Gosh this one was fun; the best book in this series so far. Spenser decides to save a teenager whose parents mostly use him for a pawn in their divorce games. The salvation project involves building a cabin, listening to Red Sox games, attending the ballet, and weightlifting. This causes some stress in Spenser's relationship with Suze, but that gets straightened out in the end. ( )
  joeldinda | Jan 24, 2019 |
My favorite of the Spenser books, by far. ( )
  CatherineBurkeHines | Nov 28, 2018 |
Oh, this was always my favorite one. ( )
  kateschmidt | Oct 20, 2018 |
Spenser is just settling in to a new office, after his old one got redeveloped out of existence, when a new client walks in. Patty Giacomin's ex-husband has taken their 15-year-old son Paul, and Patty doesn't know where the ex-husband lives. That makes even having him served with a summons rather difficult. What she wants from Spenser is to find him, and bring Paul back home.

This does seem to be mostly about not letting her husband win.

Finding Mel Giacomin turns out to be fairly easy, and since he is also mainly concerned about winning and not much about Paul, it's not hard to convince him it isn't worth a fight with Spenser. It's not long before Spenser has delivered Paul to his mother, and that's the end of the matter.

Except it isn't.

The Giacomin elders are really messed up, and they can't seem to stop using their son as a pawn in their battle with each other. A few months after the initial event, Spenser gets a phone call from Patty, who says that thugs hired by Mel tried to kidnap Paul.

It's the first step in Spenser becoming far more involved in Paul Giacomin's life than he ever imagined.

The "detective story" aspects of this novel are fairly minimal, there only to provide Spenser a route into this quite different story. The real core of this story is in the relationship that forms between Spenser and Paul. With such lousy parents, he figures Paul's only chance at a decent life is to grow up fast, and learn to become autonomous, to the extent possible, at just fifteen. Spenser can't be a father to Paul, but he becomes, at least, a big brother. Initially with Patty's consent, because it's a way of keeping Paul out of Mel's reach, Spenser takes Paul to Maine, to Susan's property near Fryeburg, and embarks on a crash education course. He teaches Paul what he knows: weight-lifting, running, boxing, carpentry, appreciation of good food--and how to say what he wants, and to have confidence his own real likes, desires, and goals. Paul, Spenser, and Susan all have real emotional challenges to face in this excellent but somewhat atypical Spenser novel.


I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
One my favorite Spenser novels. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
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For David Parker and Daniel Parker, with the respect and admiration of their father, who grew up with them.
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The urban renewers had struck again.
 "When all your options are lousy," I said, "you try to choose the least lousy." [p. 28]
"... Too much positive is either scared or stupid or both. Reality is uncertain. Lot of people need certainty. ... They spend their lives trying to be what they're supposed to be and being scared they aren't. Quiet desperation." [pp. 139-140]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440122147, Mass Market Paperback)

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.

With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back.

» see all 2 descriptions

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Average: (3.93)
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