A Savage Place
Rachel Wallace's case may not have worked like Spenser wanted it to, but she still respected his work after it was done.When a Hollywood acquaintance of hers needs a bodyguard, she recommends Spenser. So Spenser flies out to Los Angeles.
Candy Sloan is a television reporter on the track of a movie payola scheme. She has one eye witness and a lot of rumors. She wants to make a name for herself as a reporter to get the hard news, not just the fluff pieces. This story would be just what she needs to break open her reporting career. As soon as she starts investigating she starts getting threatened. She picks Spenser up at the airport, drops him at the hotel, and tells him he starts the next day. Unfortunately, she gets beaten up later that day. From then on until he no longer works for her, he sticks close to Candy.
She keeps following her trails, reaching higher in the corporate ladder as her questions seem to lead that way. When her eye witness is found dead, she knows she is close on her story. Spenser knows she wants to investigate this herself yet still gives her snippets of his investigation wisdom gleaned from years doing that type of work. Now, if he can keep her alive until she can truly break her story, he'll have earned his pay for this trip.
A Savage Place is early, classic Spenser. He is more of a smart aleck than he is later (which is saying something). This is when he meets Samuelson, the L.A. homicide detective the first time. Robert B . Parker has them come together from time to time in future books of the Spenser series, as well. The plot is predictable, but the writing is what the Spenser readers expect and enjoy.
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