Gold keeps going up, up, up; the Dow keeps going down, down, down. I’m still a cockeyed optimist when it comes to our country and our economy. But then, I’m not one of the many who are out of work without much hope on the horizon. I’m still hoping that Obama and the present administration can pull us out of this mess, create enough jobs to get us under 9%, get government spending under control. He spoke about putting money into the infrastructure—building bridges, fixing highways. So, when’s he going to do it? Soon, I hope.
In rummaging around in my books, I came upon one by Parker called Wilderness. I thought I’d read it but soon discovered I hadn’t. And I’ve had it for probably twenty-five years. It’s a stand-alone novel about a man who witnessed a killing and is then frightened off by the killer from testifying. It was written in 1979, eight years after the first Spenser, and it reads like a typical paperback pot-boiler, you know--short, tough language, not much style. In fact, it reads like he may have written the whole thing in about a month. I’ve always enjoyed reading an author from start to finish to see how the style evolved. Some commercial writers never evolve, never improve. James Patterson comes to mind. But when one reads the Spensers from start to finish, you can see how his characters grow, how the style gets better and better. Until about the last four years of his life, that is, when he just began cranking them out. I love the Spenser series despite its falling off in the last three or four. I loved the old Spenser tv series with Robert Urich. After that, I was never able to read a Spenser without seeing Urich, without seeing Avery Brooks as Hawk. I just read somewhere that Michael Brandman has written a Jesse Stone novel called Robert B. Parker’s Killing the Blues, due out in September. And Ace Atkins will write more Spensers. I just don’t see how anyone is going to be able to convince me I’m still reading Parker, still reading about the old reliable Spenser or Jesse Stone. We’ll see.