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Mystery Authors

Book reviews - Promised Land

Promised Land


Author: Robert B. Parker
Spenser is a wisecracking former boxer turned private investigator and he is just settling into his new office when enters Harv Shepard, a beleaguered businessman who is looking for someone to help locate his runaway wife. So begins Promised Land, the fourth novel by Robert Parker, that follows the exploits of his cerebral but tough character, detective Spenser. Why Harv Shepard's wife abandoned her family and exactly where she has gone comprise only half the intrigue in this story, though Spenser soon discovers that Harv is a man in deep trouble, involved with a crooked loan shark and tangled in an ailing business venture.

The real reason we keep turning the pages of Promised Land is because of the compelling figure cut by detective Spenser. The way in which he gets the information he gets about the case from police detectives, bartenders, and local thugs—Spenser’s unique bracing blend of irony and sincerity that almost never encourages the people he encounters to really like him--is as interesting as the information he gets.

Spenser is clever, often hilarious and his quips have something more than self-amusement as their end. Beneath the air of insouciant detachment and irony is a quixotic concern, as witnessed by his often self-sacrificing actions. The people Spenser meets often made predictable mistakes, falling into the same traps he has seen countless others fall into, and out of which they are mistakenly sure they can get out. Although he is weary of watching this pageant of human weakness and failure time and again, Spenser cannot help but become emotionally entangled in his cases, no matter how numbingly predictable they may be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert B. Parker was one of contemporary fiction's most popular and respected detective writers. Best known for his portrayal of the tough but erudite investigator Spenser, Parker wrote over twenty-five novels over the course of his career, which began in 1973. Parker's acclaim and his thorough background in classic detective literature helped earn him the somewhat unusual commission of completing a Philip Marlowe novel that the great Raymond Chandler had left unfinished.

Promised Land and the other Spenser novels spawned the movie Spenser: For Hire and a string of made-for-TV movies.

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.

US publication: 1976
Detective: Spenser
Genre: novels