A violent, sadistic serial killer is stalking the women of Boston and the first four victims are all black. Naturally the residents of this fair city assume the violence is race based but readers of this unique tale are in for a major lesson in psychiatry as the solution to the case is revealed. Moreover, early indications are that the killer is in fact a cop (*gasps*) which justifies the strong and long term roles played by Quirk and his uniformed associates right throughout the tale.
This story is unique in the Spenser series as it is without the trademark cynicism and humour normally found when reading of the adventures of Spenser and Hawk. In this book, Boston is a cold, wet city lost in the grip of fear. As a bonus Mr Parker has taken the liberty of providing the reader with some singularly beautiful pieces of dialogue ...
"...it was one of those deceptive days in April when it seems like spring and the wind is a velvet conceit on the lingering reality of winter..." (Taken from location 865 of the kindle version)
And pertaining to the status of our modern day lovers...
"...because I love you," I said. "Because you are in my life like the music at the end of silence." (Taken from location 1772 of the kindle version)
Susan's role in CRIMSON JOY is her standard one. That is, not only does she present her stunningly beautiful persona but her intellectual inputs to the reading experience are worth the price of admission alone.
The solution is completely satisfying and the suspense is high quite near the end when a much loved character becomes the assumed target of the story's villain.
Spenser saves the day, once again. But the real hero of this tale, is Robert B Parker.