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Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.
Parker ( Playmates ) adds another winner to his tried-and-true series with this electrifying story told in the familiar low-voltage style of Spenser, Boston private eye. Spenser's love, psychologist Susan, acting as consultant to a TV film crew shooting locally, persuades Spenser and his loyal sidekick Hawk to guard the show's star, Jill Joyce. Although Joyce's behavior off-camera epitomizes depravity, Susan and Spenser recognize the fear behind the woman's mask. The detective investigates the threatening phone calls and letters that precede the murder of Joyce's stand-in, a tragic mistake that pushes him to the limit in his search for the killer. Success comes as the final revelation in a drama crammed with the unexpected. A nice surprise is the role played by three mongrels Spenser rescues from a pound. The dignified, impeccably mannered dogs upstage the entire cast of characters in a performance that reveals genuine star quality. Doubleday Book Club selection; Literary Guild alternate. (June)