The Professional by Robert B. Parker

The ProfessionalReviewed by Allen Hott

If you like Parker you must like Spenser. Spenser (only name ever given) is one of Parker’s favorite characters.

The Professional begins with a woman attorney who comes to Spenser for his help as a private investigator. The attorney explains that four of her clients have grouped together in an odd way. It appears that each of them is having sex (and paying for it) with the same man. This man is not the husband of any of the four. He appears to be some type of Don Juan who has a tremendous appeal to women. He has been with all of them for some time but now he is demanding an enormous amount of money from each or he will go to each of their husbands with the story.

Spenser begins his work by finding out who the man is and then decides to meet with him. The man (Gary Eisenhower his current name) basically tells Spenser that there is no harm to what he has done and to leave him alone. When the women decline to press charges for fear of their husbands finding out Spenser basically drops the case.

However his curiosity gets the best of him and he continues to do more exploring. Spenser gets so involved that one of the husbands figures out what is going on. This particular husband is enough mob-oriented that he decides he will take matters into his own hands. But it just doesn’t work out that way.

In the meantime Spenser has drawn on old friendships to bring in a mob boss of his own. He believes that perhaps they can resolve the entire matter by threat of force and move on.

It just doesn’t work out that way.

Instead there is one murder of a major participant in the entire situation that brings in the police along with Spenser and the mob bosses. Everyone is trying to figure out who did the killing. Earlier there had been a threatening note given to one of the women but everyone kind of took little notice of it.

Spenser continues to work all sides and looks to put someone away for the murder. However before he is able to do so both Gary (Don Juan) and one of the ladies in question twist the story in an almost unbelievable way.

Robert B. Parker, who just passed away recently, has written a tremendous amount of books and most all of them in his own inimitable fashion. Sometimes he may have put a little too much sex in the story but that is strictly in the eyes of the beholder. Short sentences, lots of dialogue, and overall smart-alecky manner. A great writer who appealed to many mystery readers!

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