Jennifer's Reviews > God Save The Child

God Save The Child by Robert B. Parker
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's review
Oct 27, 2011

really liked it

Spenser's long-term girlfriend makes her debut in this fairly straight-ahead story of a kidnapping and murder. I'm sure she can get quite annoying, but Spenser's passion and respect for her is striking and endearing. Their first night together is awkward and adorable, and she adds am interesting layer to the story. It's also notable for featuring several gay characters without particularly creeping into gay-bashing, and is more about dysfunctional families and the strange nature of love than about an actual crime.

I've seen reviews of Parker's books that complain that he uses excessive amounts of detail, and he does sometimes go rather overboard on description. However, he captures with an eerie precision the landscape of New England in the 1970s, and as a Maine girl that captivates me. There's a passage early on where he describes the drive up Route 1 out of Boston, and as he rattled off all the weird and banal landmarks ("quarter-pound hamburgers, pizzas, storm doors, Sears, Roebuck and Co., doughnut shops, stockade fencing--preassembled sections, restaurants that look like log cabins, restaurants that look like sailing ships, restaurants that look like Moorish town houses, restaurants that look like car washes, car washes, shopping centers, a fish market, a skimobile shop...") I realized with a start that I knew the stretch of road he was describing, even before he got to the "enormous steak house with life-sized plastic cows grazing out front in the shadow of a six-story neon cactus" (hello, Hillside Steak House!) It was pretty amazing, and roots Spenser very firmly in a specific milieu that I find very appealing.

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