Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0399147101 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the title page without inscription. Bookseller Inventory # 006590
Synopsis: Boston P.I. Spenser returns-heading west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town reborn as a paradise for Los Angeles millionaires looking for a place to escape the pressures of their high-flying lifestyles. Potshot overcame its rough reputation as a rendezvous for old-time mountain men who lived off the land, thanks to a healthy infusion of new blood and even newer money. But when this western idyll is threatened by a local gang-a twenty-first-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks, and scavengers-the local police seem powerless. Led by a charismatic individual known only as The Preacher, this motley band of thieves selectively exploits the town, nurturing it as a source of wealth while systematically robbing the residents blind. Enter Spenser, called in to put the group out of business and establish a police force who can protect the town. Calling on his own cadre of cohorts, including Vinnie Morris, Bobby Horse, Chollo Bernard J. Fortunato, as well as the redoubtable Hawk, Spenser must find a way to beat the gang at their own dangerous game.
Review: Maybe Spenser's driven all the bad guys out of Boston. Which is too bad because on his home ground, the tough and tender PI and Hawk, his trusty sidekick, don't need a gang of other guys to do their work. And the hired guns they round up to help them clean out a nest of ne'er-do-wells who have the desert town of Potshot, Arizona, terrified aren't nearly as amusing as, say, John Dortmunder's criminal colleagues in Donald Westlake's caper novels.
The thugs who populate the Dell, a scrubby little enclave just outside of town, have the locals in their pocket, which is why the pretty blonde who hires Spenser to find whoever killed her husband points him toward the Preacher, who rules the Dell and its denizens. But Spenser's not as certain as his client that Steve Buckman died at the Preacher's hands. As our hero and his ethnically diverse but politically incorrect henchmen (one gay shooter, one Latino, one black, one Native American--all that's missing is Annie Oakley) investigate, it turns out that Spenser's right, as usual. The action ranges from Las Vegas to L.A., Atlanta to New Mexico, but much of it is a humdrum travelogue as Spenser rounds up his gang from all over the country to take on the Preacher and his musclemen. While Potshot isn't one of Robert B. Parker's best, it's still not bad. The one or two lines devoted to introducing Spenser's backup buddies don't begin to do any of them justice, and there's a lot more description of the artillery the guys pack than usual. But they do fill up the white space, and when the action lags, there's always Susan's dirty talk, shopping jones, and dietary obsessions to divert the reader. There's a midlife crisis somewhere in this evergreen series that's just waiting to erupt. Whether it's Spenser's, Susan's, or Parker's, however, remains to be seen. --Jane Adams
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