POTSHOT by Robert B. Parker
A SPENSER NOVEL
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2001
A beautiful widow asks Boston private investigator Spenser to discover who killed her husband and bring them to justice. When he arrives in Potshot, Arizona, Spenser discovers a rough mob, led by the preacher holding the town hostage, demanding payoff from the businesses, and generally depressing real estate values. If he'll clean up the town, the city fathers offer him a major payoff.
The first question to ask whenever a new Spenser novel hits the shelves is whether the old Spenser of THE PROMISED LAND or other early mysteries is back. With POTSHOT, we can answer with a nearly emphatic yes. In this novel, author Robert B. Parker avoids the unfortunate obsession with Susan Silverman (Spenser's relationship seems to have settled down to a comfortable but sexy one), overuse of Hawk (although he is definitely there), and excessive moral ambiguity (Spenser is definitely the hero of POTSHOT as well as the protagonist). With Parker's snappy dialogue and action-filled pacing, I didn't want to stop reading.
A major flaw in the story logic is the only thing that keeps me from giving POTSHOT a full four star rating. Parker never really addresses the question of why Mary Lou came to Spenser in the first place. This question is asked several times in the novel and becomes a major plot point. Still, not only does POTSHOT not provide an explicit answer, it is difficult to imagine any convincing explanation.
If you can set aside your insistence on logic, you'll find POTSHOT an exciting story with Parker's well known dialogue, enough tough-guy testosterone to keep you revved up for days, and an increasingly mature relationship between Susan and Spenser to provide a safe anchor as a counterpoint to Spenser's danger-filled occupation. See more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Robert Parker).
Ready to buy it now? Click the BUY button.
Visit Amazon.com to read more reviews or to purchase POTSHOT from Amazon.com (hardback).
Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?