Friday, January 15, 2010
As promised, here are some thoughts on Robert B. Parker's The Boxer and the Spy (available on Kindle for $7.19), which I just finished:
High school chums and almost boyfriend/girlfriend Terry and Abby suspect that their classmate's suicide was not a suicide at all, but foul play somehow tied in with some shady goings-on by their school principal and a local pol now running for governor. But what, they observe, could a couple of kids do about it? A lot, as we soon find out.
Robert B. Parker's third book for young adults (Edenville Owls and Chasing the Bear were the first two), doesn't talk down to kids, and in fact discusses Mr. Parker's usual themes with the same enthusiasm as they're approached in his adult thrillers. These include the importance of having a personal code, and being consciously aware of both the strengths and challenges of one's personal relationships, especially one's primary romantic relationship. Actually, in this book's case, it's more of a potential romantic relationship, as Terry and Abby are still somewhat circling each other and figuring everything out, even as each is clearly taken with the other.
The title of the book alludes to Terry's enthusiasm for boxing and Abby's plan to mobilize her and Terry's friends to spy on the adults they suspect of murdering their classmate and scamming the community. A decent plotline (maybe slightly simpler than a usual Parker plot, but not much), likable characters, and some good confrontation scenes result in a solid, entertaining effort. As I also said about the characters in Mr. Parker's other two stand-alone (so far) young adult titles, it would be nice to see Terry and Abby again sometime.