Rough Weather is the thirty-sixth (36) Spenser novel written by Robert B. Parker. It was originally published in 2008. Returning once again (for his third appearance) is Rugar (The Gray Man).
NOTE: This review will contain spoilers.
Preceded By: Now And Then
Spenser is hired to accompany professional gold digger Heidi Bradshaw to the wedding of her daughter. The wedding takes place at the incredibly posh (and secluded – wink wink nudge nudge) Tashtego Island which is only accessible via boat or helicopter. This is obviously a plot point that is flushed out rather quickly. Spenser decides to bring Susan along for the ride to this event and things take an almost immediate turn for the worse when they run into The Gray Man (Rugar).
As they tend to do when Rugar is around things turn toward death. Rugar kills the groom and kidnaps the bride. Spenser’s quest now turns to finding the bride and determining why Rugar is so interested in the girl.
As with all of Parker’s novels the dialogue is what leads the way. Spenser’s long time love interest Susan Silverman is here but not in overwhelming fashion. Hawk makes an appearance which is always a plus in my book though I did find it interesting that the relationship between Hawk, Spenser and Susan has REALLY taken on a “family” feel. I noticed it in part because the three share a Thanksgiving dinner together… something that Spenser specifically said would never happen way back in Looking for Rachel Wallace. As a side note, my memory isn’t nearly that good… I just happened to be re-reading all of my Spenser novels and I have recently finished up that one. It almost feels like we’re working toward the “end” of Spenser, Hawk & Susan.
The inclusion of Rugar here is great. I have always enjoyed the interaction between he and Spenser. The thing that seems odd here is Spenser’s reaction to him. They obviously both live by “The Code” which Spenser references so often but you’d just think that someone who tried to kill you all those years back wouldn’t be a “buddy”. There’s also a general sense of not-caring when it comes to murder in this book. I’m sure its a desensitization for Spenser, Hawk and Rugar but it seems to be for all the characters in this book.
There’s one thing that I just can’t get past in this one… why would Spenser let Rugar walk at the end? Sure the bride is his daughter but come on! The guy killed a bunch of people… has Spenser really come so far on the “what’s right is right” meter to just let killing go without being punished? Spenser obviously has his own sense of “justice” but for the first time in a long time (possibly ever) I just didn’t agree with what Spenser was doing.
I’m far too invested in Parker’s novels to give an objective recommendation so I won’t bother. As with all Parker novels, the dialogue in Rough Weather is top notch, there’s not too much Susan in here for my liking and what action there is keeps you on the edge of your seat. The only complaint that I have with Parker’s writing these days is that there’s not enough of it 😉