Like all Spenser books, it's too good to read slow. Even with company in the house I made a two day read of this. A little out of character for most Spenser novels, but still great. Hiring out more or less to escort a separated rich woman to her daughter's wedding, Spenser is stunned when a helicopter lands to kidnap the bride at the end of the ceremony, murder the priest and the groom. and has to hold those attending hostage as a hurricane hits before the copter can leave. With the invaders all holding automatic rifles, Spenser's ability to fight back is thwarted, although not necessary this ability to wreck havoc. The weird ending is a bit unexpected.
ROUGH WEATHER is vintage Robert Parker, featuring Spenser, a private detective with a self-deprecating sense of humor, subtle tongue-in-cheek wit, and a personal code of honor that he refuses to violate. Parker’s light, clean, linear writing style, fun dialogue, suspenseful plots twists, and familiar characters and relationships are again a delight in this Spenser offering. This is the Spenser that Parker’s fans know and love. Though the plot is a little simpler in this book compared to some others, he still delivers. Parker’s death a few years ago was a real loss. His myriad other readers and I were hoping he’d be writing the Spenser and Jesse Stone books forever. Since his death, the Parker family has hired other authors to continue writing the Spencer and Jesse Stone brand books—Ace Atkins for Spenser, and Reed Farrell Coleman for Jesse Stone. Although Ace Atkins was respectful of Parker’s vision for the Spenser books , and was doing a fairly decent job trying to replicate Parker’s inimitable style, voice, and character relationships, in his most recent book, SLOW BURN, he seemed to be devolving into his own style, which was a real disappointment. In SLOW BURN the villains take center stage, and Parker’s Spenser, and the other continuing characters in the series, become superfluous. They devolve into going-through the motions cardboard cut-outs, anemic and wooden compared to the fullly-developed vibrant personalities Parker wrote. I’m hoping this latest Atkins book is just a speed bump, and that he’ll again ‘channel ‘ Parker’s inimitable talnet and style when writing the next book in the series. Unfortunately, Reed Farrell Coleman who was hired to write the Jesse Stone series has turned its main character into a macho cop, the exact opposite of Parker’s vision. Parker’s Jesse was a flawed but thoughtful man, trying to master alcoholism and rebuild his self-destructed life, while cleverly catching bad guys you love to hate.. Sadly, the heavy-handed Colman, has morphed the series into a typical cop-and-bad-guy genre book, with more graphic and violent plots, predictable, emotionally superficial characters, and boring pedestrian writing. I couldn’t read more than a page or two of the book samples Amazon offers to tempt you to buy. Coleman has jettisoned all the depth and charm and wisdom Parker put into Jesse. along with the values that made him a character you really cared about. Imposing his own writing style on these books was criminal in my estimation. He’s doing well with the series’ sales, with new readers that are content with Coleman’s same-old-same old, insensitive, tough-guy ‘hero,’ and dull, plodding writing style. Those of us who know better, realize that the authentic Jesse died along with Parker. I own all of the original Parker books in either hardbound or softbound editions, but have begun adding the vintage Parker books to my digital library too, so they are st my fingertips when I need a Parker ‘fix.’ Buy and enjoy ROUGH WEATHER, and then start the Spenser series from the beginning. Read the authentic Jesse Stones too. Great author. Great books.
While this story sometimes borders on the absurd, the incurable romantic in me loved it. Maybe that's one reason I enjoy reading Spenser. He, Susan, Hawk, Quirk, and yes, often the bad guys too... They all evoke some compassion in me.
This isn't Spenser at his most cutting best, and normally I wouldn't give this read more than 4 stars, but when I finished reading it, I felt like I had been served a nice whiskey. Our at least a tasty dessert.
If you're unfamiliar with this series, don't start with this book. Instead, go back to the earlier books in the series and welcome to the family!
I have read the Robert Parker Spenser series multiple times. Some are better as far as plot complexity, but then I don't read them for the plot; the characters and dialogue mixed with a sense of principle makes these works a favorite. Frankly, I don't remember which story line this one is, but I know it is worthwhile. Generally, after reading a few pathetic books I want to clear my head and I'll pick up the first in the series. Oops, then I'm hooked and will read the entire series (or close to it).
I have been a Spenser fan for a long time (Spenser, not Stone or Randall) because the character is unique. How many people do you know in real life or in print who have a fully-integrated sense of self and a fully-formed world view. Spenser is such a character. So I will continue to read anything that Parker writes about this character. However, Robert B. Parker has developed some very annoying literary habits in his later years. He is frequently careless about time sequences and he does other things that irritate me but in "Rough Weather" he is just baffling.
In the beginning of Chapter 32 Spenser is sitting with Quirk across the table from two men whom Hawk apprehended as they were lying in wait for Spenser with the intent to kill him. Then the author says, "Beside them sat a smallish man with a lot of curly hair that stood straight out from his head. He had on a blue work shirt and a wrinkled sport coat in a small gray green check." Then this smallish man disappears from the novel entirely. Parker dropped this character into the story for a moment and then jerked him out for no apparent reason. Here is a mystery waiting to be solved. Did Parker accidently cut and paste this character from another story? Did he break off the writing after introducing this character and then resume and forget about him entirely?
This incident illustrates the only real problem I have with the later Spenser ongoing saga viz., that nobody is checking these manuscripts before they are published. Parker is so famous that his publishers probably are just thrilled to get another guaranteed best-seller and wouldn't dream of going through the manuscript for errors and apparently Parker, himself isn't proofing the manuscripts. However, Parker's many fans have given him the material wealth he enjoys today and I would think that a sense of honor would make hime want to give us of his best. If he has gotten to the point where he canot proof his own work then he should be hiring someone else to do it. Instead he is giving us very sloppy craftsmanship. Shame on you Mr. Parker.