Thursday, March 4, 2010

Potshot by Robert B. Parker

Here's a handy book-reading tip:  Don't read multiple books by one author at the same time - tends to cause great confusion, especially in readers of a certain age.  I have been listening to the audio of Potshot by Robert B. Parker in my car, while reading Promised Land by the same author.  To further befuddle myself, I now moved on to read Mr. Parker's latest, Split Image, which - although part of a different series - is very similar in style.  And just in case there was any note of sanity left, I listened to Rex Stout's The Doorbell Rang on my mp3 so now four detective stories are jumping around in my head like pinballs and writing reviews is a challenge.

Potshot is number 29 in the Spenser series, published in 2001.  The story revolves around the small town of Potshot, Arizona  - where (according to the book jacket) a band of modern-day mountain men, led by a charismatic individual known as The Preacher, have taken over the town and even the local police are powerless to defend the residents.  In classic Spenser style, he saves the town, solves the murder, and gets the girl. 

But the best part of this story, for me, was the audio narration by actor Joe Mantegna.  Spenser is aided in his heroics by a posse of "ethnically diverse but politically incorrect henchmen (one gay shooter, one Latino, one black, one Native American)".*  Mr. Mantegna creates voices for each of these characters that are individual and recognizable, and that brought out the sometimes subtle humor of Mr. Parker's writing.  I don't think it would have been nearly as funny in my head.

As always, Spenser gets a top rating from me, but in the future I'll take him in smaller doses.

*quote from review

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