Cover image for Hush money
Hush money
Parker, Robert B., 1932-2010.
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Rockland, MA : Wheeler Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
294 pages ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Format :


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Material Type
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X Adult Large Print Large Print
X Adult Large Print Large Print

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When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at a prestigious university, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumour mill, no one's willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist.

At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K.C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional/client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the robles and begins to stalk him.

Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly. It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of file iceberg ill a great conspiracy to keep America white, male, and straight.

Author Notes

Robert Brown Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1932. He received a B.A. from Colby College in 1954, served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and then returned to receive a M. A. in English literature from Boston University in 1957. He received a Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University in 1971.

Before becoming a full-time writer in 1979, he taught at Lowell State College, Bridgewater State College and Northwestern University.

In 1971, Parker published The Godwuff Manuscript, as homage to Raymond Chandler. The character he created, Spencer, became his own detective and was featured in more than 30 novels. His Spencer character has been featured in six TV movies and the television series Spencer: For Hire that starred Robert Urich and ran from 1985 to 1988.

He is also the author of the Jesse Stone series, which has been made into a series of television movies for CBS, and the Sunny Randall series. His novel Appaloosa (2005) was made into a 2008 movie directed by and starring Ed Harris. He has received numerous awards for his work including an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1977 for The Promised Land, Grand Master Edgar Award for his collective oeuvre in 2002, and the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He died of a heart attack on January 18, 2010 at the age of 77.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

" There were few things more annoying than a visibly principled person." With that attitude, you just know Spenser's visit to the halls of academe isn't going to go smoothly. It's a setup, of course, pitting tough-guy Spenser, the consummate smart-aleck shamus, whose literary allusions sting almost as much as his left hook, against the hapless English department of a New England university, embroiled in a tenure squabble that has turned lethal. Spenser takes the case as a favor to his best friend, the enigmatic Hawk, who makes his living intimidating genuine thugs, not bow-tied wordsmiths. But when the son of Hawk's former mentor, a boxing trainer with a heart of gold, is denied tenure because of his alleged affair with a male student who then died in suspicious circumstances, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. What follows is one of the more entertaining of recent Spenser adventures. Not only do we get to enjoy Spenser cutting through the pomposities and politically correct inanities of the woefully overmatched English profs, we also get a fascinating glimpse of Hawk's very secret past. A subplot in which Spenser is stalked by a female friend of his longtime lover Susan Silverman offers another first: Susan defending her man with a stinging left hook of her own. Despite some thoughtful musings on racial and sexual politics, this one is more froth than substance, but for fans of the long-running series, froth has never tasted sweeter. --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite his quarter century on Boston's mean streets (he debuted in The Godwulf Manuscript in 1974), Parker's retrograde yet hip PI Spenser can still punch, sleuth and wisecrack with the best of them. This time out, Spenser looks into the case of Robinson Nevins, a conservative African-American professor denied tenure, perhaps for his alleged affair with a male student, Prentice Lamont, who has committed suicide. Spenser's hard-eyed stroll through the cloistered world of academia brings him into contact with Amir Abdullah, a black professor who is theatrically militant about African-American issues despite a long list of sexual conquests that includes the leader of a white supremacist organization. Sexual conquest is also on the mind of K.C. Roth, a pretty woman beset by insecurity and prey to a stalker. When Spenser and his sidekick, Hawk, persuade her sinister admirer to desist, K.C.'s fragile emotions lead her to fall hard for Spenser, and the stalked becomes the stalker. Naturally, Spenser's longtime lover, Susan, is less than amused. Readers who find the Spenser chronicles cute or contrived probably won't change their minds with this entry. Beyond dispute, however, is Parker's reliably gossamer narrative touch and, in this particular instance, his skilled brewing of suspense within the academic setting. Fans will also enjoy unexpected revelations about Hawk's background, Spenser's serving of justice with a vengeance and, as usual, prose that's as clean as a sea breeze. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Complicated doings in the latest Spenser novel: he's investigating a case of denied tenure, which seems to be tied to the suicide of a young gay, and when he aids a woman who is being stalked, she gets romantic ideas and starts stalking him. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.