Why this book?
No big shock here, recommending a Spenser book, right? The iconic private eye is probably the most imitated in the genre and, for me, at least, his plotlines are usually secondary to his prose and his message.
In Early Autumn, Spenser takes on a case of a narcissistic woman (an outdated recurring theme in the early books) but quickly changes his focus to her neglected son. Spenser teaches the boy to be a man through carpentry, cooking, exercise, and boxing, using all as a vehicle for self-sufficiency. He encourages the boy to find a passion, and when Paul chooses modern dance and ballet, Spenser is supportive.
The message—self-sufficiency makes life manageable; passion makes it worthwhile.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
“[Robert B.] Parker's brilliance is in his simple dialogue, and in Spenser.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.
With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.