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Sudden Mischief Format Kindle
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|Longueur : 324 pages||Word Wise: Activé||Composition améliorée: Activé|
|Page Flip: Activé||Langue : Anglais|
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Susan's ex-husband comes to her for help. Of course, she doesn't understand the kind of help he's looking for and her misunderstanding involves Spenser and eventually turns up a batch of stuff that the ex is involved in.
Human emotions are dealt with here, and it's revealing to watch Susan as she begins to realize some of her own hang-ups. As far as the mystery goes, there isn't great mystery here. We learn what's going on at the same time that Spenser does and much of it isn't a surprise. Parker does telegraph much of the time and I believe this to be purposeful.
More and more, in these later Spenser stories, Parker does something unexpected. This time, it's the ending which is unusually abrupt. There's reason here, and Parker does know exactly what he is doing in the way he's crafting these stories.
So Sudden Mischief focuses on relationships more than action. While Pastimes illuminated Spenser's childhood, details of Susan's pre-Spenser history are exposed in Mischief. This isn't as bad as it might seem. Earlier in the series, I found Susan to be so self-absorbed I almost stopped reading. However, she's since matured, developed, and become more an asset to Spenser's work than a liability. I actually found her presence enjoyable here.
The "mystery" part of the book is more ordinary by Spenser standards. As others have pointed out, there's all the usual Spenser elements, including his annual rejection of supermonogamous temptations. But the story is hardly very compelling. There isn't much mystery there. The reader is left in a more passive role, turning the pages to see what will happen next, without much speculation into or concern over what that will be. Still, the story isn't overtly bad.
Even if it was, Parker's writing is always a joy. So, if you're a fan of the Spenser series, Sudden Mischief is a worthwhile investment of your time, and not only for the development of Susan's character.
These books are designed for one-stop reading. They take three hours, give or take for your reading speed, and are meant to be devoured by the fire with a bottle of Jack Daniels for company. The plots are pretty similar, and many of the same things happen (Spenser cooks. Spenser quotes Spenser. Spenser beats people up. Spenser and Hawk trade jibes.). Basically, the Spenser novels are genre fiction, formulaic, pure and simple. But they're GOOD genre fiction. Spenser is an easy guy to like, as long as you're not on his bad side. He's intelligent, he makes a mean plate of spaghetti, he's got the cutest sidekick in the business (Hawk can rough me up any time!), he knows his medieval literature, and he's pretty good at walking the balance between solving crimes and committing them. What's not to like?
This volume is one of the mid-level ones. It's okay, not bad, not great either. One aspect I think rather unrealistic is the idea that Spenser and Susan have been together for twenty years and have never talked about her past. In most dating relationships, this comes up in the first month. In some ways, perhaps this is Parker overcompensating for unduly neglecting this aspect of Susan's character in the past. He probably felt like he had to get it in sometime, and though it would have been more appropriate some ten or fifteen books ago, it's probably good that he got it in now.
Parker has said that he doesn't have a favorite Spenser book; he feels like all of them are just episodes in an ongoing series and they sort of blur together. And maybe in this way, Spenser really reflects life. So if this book wasn't a dazzler, that's okay. That's just life.
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