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Mortal Stakes - Robert B. Parker A Red Sox bigwig hires Spenser to investigate a pitcher who he suspects has been intentionally blowing games. Spenser's investigations take him into a web of deceit and blackmail and the pitcher's wife is caught in the middle...

Spenser is really growing on me. I have to admit I wasn't completely sold in the first two books. In this one, I think Parker started hitting on all cylinders.

Mortal Stakes is a tale of a small town girl in Boston being punished for the sins of her past and her husband, Red Sox pitcher Marty Rabb, is being blackmailed by gamblers. Spenser noses around, busts some heads, and eventually gets them in the clear, but not without a price.

While there wasn't much in the way of action, the action there was was intense and meaningful, both to the plot and the character of Spenser. Aside from being played by Robert Urich, I think the thing that sets Spenser apart from other similar characters is his philosophy. While willing to do what has to be done, he's not all that happy with it.

Highly recommended. I'll be reading the fourth volume very very soon.