Looking for Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker

Best known for his Spenser PI series, Robert B. Parker has been compared to Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald.

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Looking for Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker


  • Paperback: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.64 x 6.72 x 4.25
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (September 1, 1987)
  • ISBN: 0440153166

    Reader Reviews
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: Spenser studies gay and feminist issues, July 11, 2003 Reviewer: Lisa - Gaming Host from Massachusetts Spenser has a lobster dinner and is contracted to bodyguard a lesbian author, Rachel Wallace. Rachel has received death threats after writing an expose of discrimination in the workplace. You have to remember this is '80 while reading it - Spenser makes several "questionable" comments, and her foes are definitely many and bigoted. Right from the start Spenser has to protect her, although their personalities clash. He tromps all over her while trying to "save her" because of course she can't take care of herself. Rachel fires him, and *poof* she's kidnapped. Spenser finds a bigoted family with some deep conflicts. He traces through a KKK member, some loansharks, gets beaten up and drives in the snow in his 1968 Chevy Convertible. Lucky he didn't try it in Susan's MG. Spenser drinks Becks, Molsons and Asti Spumanti. Rachel, of course, is rescued in dramatic fashion. The book ends with her curled up in Spenser's apartment, holding his hand as she sleeps. My Notes: Well, I suppose even now bigotry exists, maybe I fool myself that it's not as bad as the book makes it out to be. It was pretty nasty for a woman who was just writing books. Spenser, who later has a gay police officer friend, is seriously offensive himself a few times. But I suppose to have him "supporting" a lesbian activist in '80 was a reasonably strong move. He has at various times lobster, shrimp, and oysters, even though he claimed earlier to not like fish. Susan pokes her head in for a scene and *poof* is gone - not much for a woman he swore eternal love to and couldn't live without only a short while ago. As much as Susan can generally be annoying, I like when she and Rachel talk, and Susan is gently helping the Rachel-Spenser interaction go more smoothly. Rachel says "Jeez does Spenser protect you?" and Susan replies "No, we protect each other, sort of how I'm looking out for him now." Rachel grudgingly admits this is true, and healthy. Interestingly, Susan knows how to cook in this one - onions, peppers, mushrooms. She even makes ham sandwiches (with the ham from Millerton NY, hickory smoked, no nitrates). She must have forgotten soon thereafter. Susan's power is growing - in this story it says "Her interest in people was emanating. One could almost feel it." It won't be long before the perennial word, "Palpable" shows up!! Spenser is definitely relaxing into his role in the world - I think (bigotry aside) this is the first book that he's really "comfortable with himself" in. He doesn't question his right to do things, he just does them. He punches the picketer. He jumps in when people try to drag her off. He does his job, period. Susan calls him a "Sir Gawain". It's interesting to hear Rachel bashing Spenser all the time but admit in the end that she needed him to be what he was to rescue her. I wonder if this is a pre-emptive strike at those reviewers who criticize Spenser for being so "macho" - right in the book you have the arguments both ways. Very entertaining. Sadly, no Hawk at all in this one. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

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