Back Story by Robert B. Parker
Back StoryPaul Giacomin, Spenser’s surrogate son, is in Boston with his current play. One of the actresses, Daryl, is a friend Paul bring to meet Spenser. Daryl’s mother was killed in a Boston bank robbery in 1974, 28 years earlier. The Dread Scott Society, a revolutionary group, claimed responsibility for the shooting. But no one was ever caught. Daryl wants to know who killed her mother. So, with a payment of six Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Spenser accepts the case.
Spenser starts at the usual point. He checks the police files on the case. That leads him to the FBI files. That leads him to more questions. There’s something not right in the files. Now Spenser wants to know why. The more he investigates, the more the picture Daryl painted changes. She had claimed she had a perfect home life before her mother died. Instead, she was raised by hippies. Her father still lives in San Diego, burnt out on marijuana that he has smoked since the 1960’s. Her mother was into free love. That doesn’t explain why she was killed in a robbery in Boston.
Then the death threats start. As Spenser digs, the local mob boss puts out a hit on him. Now Spenser is trying to find the story from 28 years early, why the mob is after him, and what is the FBI hiding?
Spenser, in Back Story, ends up in Paradise, Massachusetts. He works with Jesse Stone, the sheriff of Paradise. Here, Parker brings two of his Massachusetts characters together.
Back Story is currently the newest Spenser novel. It is an enjoyable addition to the series. As usual, I chuckled throughout at Spenser, Susan, and Hawk as they cut wisecracks. The mystery itself is interesting, pulling Spenser back and forth between Southern California, Maine, and Boston. The twists are intriguing.
By the finish of Back Story, the reader has figured out where Spenser is going. But earlier on in the book, the ending would have been a surprise. It is worth reading for the mystery as well as for the characters so many people appreciate. A new reader to the series would miss the nuances of the interactions between the main characters, but can still appreciate the novel.
Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations, Strong indecent language, Non-graphic violence