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{Download Epub} ⚞ Promised Land ë Spenser Is A Wisecracking Former Boxer Turned Private Investigator And He Is Just Settling Into His New Office When Enters Harv Shepard, A Beleaguered Businessman Who Is Looking For Someone To Help Locate His Runaway Wife So Begins Promised Land, The Fourth Novel By Robert Parker, That Follows The Exploits Of His Cerebral But Tough Character, Detective Spenser Why Harv Shepard S Wife Abandoned Her Family And Exactly Where She Has Gone Comprise Only Half The Intrigue In This Story, Though Spenser Soon Discovers That Harv Is A Man In Deep Trouble, Involved With A Crooked Loan Shark And Tangled In An Ailing Business Venture Spenser mystery number 4 didn t do it for me A weird story line with radical feminists looking to buy guns I know the seventies were strange, but still.Also, lots of relationship angst and tiresome group therapy sessions A dull denouement with not much action Meeting Hawk was the one redeeming feature. In this fourth novel of the series, Harvey Shepherd hires Spenser to track down his wandering wife Pam, who has left her husband and children to discover herself When Spenser finds her she is living with a pair of revolutionary feminists, and does not wish to return, so he promises not to tell Harvey where she is staying Soon, though, both the Shepherds want his help Pam is in trouble, for the revolutionary feminists have proved to be militant and dangerous, and Harvey, who owes a loan shark big money for a belly up real estate venture, is being threatened by a well dressed, intimidating black man named Hawk The Promised Land, name of the bankrupt real estate scheme, is also The Plimoth Plantation itself, the original Pilgrim settlement in America now living history museum where a few of scenes of the novel take place It is also, by implication, America itself, still a land of great promise but a land of broken promises too How, in a world of broken contracts and vows, of disputed obligations and shifting gender roles, do people of honor conduct themselves When must they speak truth and stand their ground And whom when the negotiations have ended must they lie to and betray These are the choices Spenser must face, not only in the Shepherd case itself but also in his personal and professional life, as he decides what he owes to his lady Susan and to Hawk, his compeer and foe.This mystery falls a bit short of Parker s best, for the feminists Rose and Jane are mere caricatures a mistake Parker would rectify in Spenser s sixth adventure Looking for Rachel Wallace , and the plot takes far too long to get moving Then again, this is the book where Spenser and Susan first explore motives and begin to forge their unique relationship, and since it also features the first appearance of Hawk, it is a must read for all Spenser fans. The One Where Spenser is Schooled on the Dangers of the Souless Suburban Life by Susan Also The One Where We Meet Hawk, Who Is a Total Legit Badass.It helps to keep these series books separate, you know Many of the early themes of the Spenser mysteries appear here the emotional dangers of the suburbs, ethical nobility, women s general sexiness, and the foolishness of various anti establishment movements Spenser is hired by Harv Shepard, a wheel and deal land developer contractor to find his wife who has disappeared without a note, and leaving their two children behind Spenser is all alone in the suburbs of the Cape, and he is hoping that Susan will come up and join him for a relatively simple case Only it turns out not so simple when they run into Hawk leaving Harv s home Spenser gets some legit information from the local cops and is able to track down Pam and her vigilante buddies Pam s feeling super suffocated in the burbs and Susan gets angry at Spencer s seemingly casual dismissal of her midlife identity crisis In comparison to prior books, the writing feels tighter For instance, while we do have a fair amount of scenic description of the road to Hyannis, it s kept down to three sentences, one briefly sarcastic The soothing excitements of scrub pine and wide sea gave way to McDonald s and Holiday Inn and prefab fence companies, shopping malls and Sheraton Motor Inns, and a host of less likely places where you could sleep and eat and drink in surroundings indistinguishable from the ones you d left at home Except there d be a fishnet on the wall If Bartholomew Gosnold had approached the Cape from this direction, he d have kept on going Strangely, it s a story that is resonant in series context than in any particular value as a mystery It is very much a relationship book, where Spenser and Susan explore their own growing relationship and struggle with the comparisons to the unfortunate Harv and Pam and their love based but dysfunctional relationship Pam s perspective on her self actualization and Harv s perspective on their history contain poignant but frustrated feelings It s also the start of a Spenser and Hawk friendship Hawk is introduced here as a free lance enforcer who has a shared boxing history with Spencer, but an exchange of solid favors lay the foundation of their future working relationship.Of course, numerous time period oink moments remain, with Spencer deliberately not ogling various female characters But is seems pretty benevolently oinkish, as opposed to creepy Recommended for series fans, but definitely not for the mystery There s also an extended bit about women and frigidness No thank you very much, Dr Not Freud.No, I did not read all the words Because visualizing their dumb outfits hurt my eye brain and I can t read about 1970s conception of sexuality without hurting my thinking brain Our first look at Hawk illustrates the clothes With him was a tall black man with a bald head and high cheekbones He had on a powder blue leisure suit and a pink silk shirt with a big collar The shirt was unbuttoned to the waist and the chest and stomach that showed were as hard and unadorned as ebony He took a pair of wraparound sunglasses from the breast pocket of the jacket and as he put them on, he stared at me over their rims until very slowly the lenses covered his eyes and he stared at me through them Ok, maybe I read all the words there Two and a half silk stars, rounding down for oinkiness. And Hawk beat you up Yeah Actually, he didn t do it himself He had two guys do it, and he, like, supervised Hawk s moving up Executive level He was always a comer He said he just does the killing now, the sweaty work, he delegates Spenser has been hired by a real estate developer named Harvey Shepherd whose wife Pam has run off Like most of Spenser s clients, Harvey is kind of a self absorbed dumbass, but he does genuinely love his wife Spenser quickly determines that Pam had folded under the boredom of her housewife role and Harvey s overwhelming devotion, and she s hooked up with a couple of militant feminists circa 1976 Since she s there of her own free will, Spenser refuses to tell Harvey where she s at However, Pam s friends get her involved in a bank robbery to finance a feminist revolution, and Harvey s got even bigger problems He owes money to a loan shark, and a man called Hawk is the enforcer.I doubt that Parker invented the idea of the protagonist having a useful and loyal friend on the wrong side of the law, but he popularized it with the creation of Hawk Avery Brooks great portrayal in the TV series Spenser For Hire in the 80s helped get the idea out in the mainstream Hawk would be a key character for the rest of the series Here, he and Spenser know and respect each other, but later books would have them becoming best friends I always liked that Parker would go out of his way to portray Hawk not as a sidekick, but as an equal He s always willing to back Spenser up for money or because he finds it amusing, but he never played Robin to Spenser s Batman.In this first look at Hawk, he and Spenser are on opposite sides and there s a real tension built about the two professional tough guys potentially having to face off Parker would also use Hawk repeatedly as a mirror to Spenser s own capacity and taste for violence The only difference is the self imposed set of rules that Spenser has created for himself to make sure that he doesn t turn into a thugDoesn t it bother you, Susan said, to hurt people for money No than it does him, Hawk nodded at me I don t think he does it for money That s why ah m bopping down the Cape in a new El Dorado, and he s driving that eight year old hog with the gray tape on the upholstery In addition to Hawk, this book has Susan and Spenser trying to determine the future of their relationship, and it ll set the tone for the rest of the series This is also the first time that a lot of effort is spent in trying to define Spenser code of behavior In later books, this would become repetitive and tiresome, but it s interesting here This one won an Edgar Award in 1977, and I was amazed at the amount of story, themes and character development that Parker squeezed into 218 pages.Next up Spenser and Hawk go on an international killing spree in The Judas Goat.