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Taming a Sea-Horse by Robert B. Parker
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Taming a Sea-Horse (1986)

by Robert B. Parker

Series: Spenser (13)

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696313,671 (3.59)44
Recently added byprivate library, LT_Ammar, JohnWCuluris, dustydigger, joiedelivre, dmaness, phebert48

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Taming a Sea-Horse is Robert B. Parker’s 13th novel featuring the one-named Boston private eye Spenser. In Ceremony, the ninth of the series, Spenser “rescued” April Kyle, a young hooker from a life of low level prostitution by finding her a job with Patricia Utley, a high class madam. Here, April has left the “care” of Ms. Utley, and is now on the street working for a man named Robert, who claims to be a student at Juilliard. April thinks she is in love with Robert, and is hooking to help put him through school. Spenser’s detecting uncovers Robert as a pimp for a collection of hookers.

Spenser spends some time with Ginger Bucky, another of Robert’s stable, in investigating the mechanics of the prostitution trade. He learns from Ginger that her father raped her as a teenager, and then sold her to a brothel. Ginger shortly thereafter ends up murdered.

Parker’s tone is dark and philosophical in discussing prostitution. He is at his best in describing Spenser’s encounter with Ginger’s father, where Spenser demonstrates conclusively that the dad is not the toughest guy in rural Maine.

This book is not as crackling with snappy dialog as most Spenser novels. As a result, it seems a little preachy to readers who are expecting Parker’s usual brand of fluff and machismo. Although I would rate it “not bad,” I don’t think this book is Parker on his “A” game.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Dec 30, 2015 |
In sampling Parker's fiction, I continue to find his earlier novels to be his best work. This is my 12th "Spenser" novel (and at 1986, the earliest I've sampled), and in my view it compares very highly with several of those that came later. Sure, it's cheap popular fiction, but the plot is interesting, the dialogue clever, and the action fast paced and absorbing. One thing I liked in particular was how real the story seems. Private investigator Spenser doesn't know what's going on or what to do about it, and just makes himself a sufficiently annoying presence to the people he's up against (even with acts of a sophomoric nature) that they finally have to deal with him to get him off their backs. A less skillful writer would feel obliged to write a superhuman protagonist never at a loss for what to do to "solve" the crime. Spenser is all the more human for his flaws, even if his creator does make him and sidekick Hawk irresistably attractive to any females in the vicinity -- a little indulgence for which most male readers (at least) will likely forgive the author. There's much humor in this little novel, some great dialogue, some gripping action, and overall, a sufficiently absorbing story to make it a fine book to read near bedtime, for those who like the genre. For others, try Crime and Punishment or Anna Karenina. ( )
4 vote danielx | Jul 12, 2011 |
This was not the best Parker I have read. Spenser tries to find a girl he had left with a madam in a previous book. She disappears and in the meantime her friend and pimp are murdered. I like his books with more of Hawk and Susan. I do like his sarcastic way of speaking so it makes the book readable and humorous at the same time. ( )
  dickcraig | Dec 23, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
- Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess"
Dedication
For Joan
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I hadn't had lunch with Patricia Utley since the last time the Red Sox won the pennant.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440188415, Mass Market Paperback)

In his latest highly acclaimed Spenser novel, Robert B. Parker takes readers into the murky big-city underground where Spenser undertakes an intense search for a beautiful, missing prostitute, and finds himself traveling amidst the sleaze of Times Square where sex is a commodity, and young girls are the currency. This phenomenal bestseller, with a million-copy paperback first printing is supported by national TV advertising and a 6-month backlist reissue program. HC:Delacorte.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Robert B. Parker takes readers into the murky big-city underground where Spenser undertakes an intense search for a beautiful, missing prostitute, and finds himself traveling amidst the sleaze of Times Square where sex is a commodity, and young girls are the currency.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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