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Parker and Spenser shine once again. The wizened P.I.'s latest case involves a school shooting--that sounds a little like Columbine--where two boys shot and killed seven people at a private academy.

The grandmother of one of the shooting suspects asks Spenser to investigate and exonerate her grandson. But Spenser is stonewalled. The police in suburban Dowling, Massachusetts, want him out of their town, and the school administrators are none too helpful. So Spenser calls on his chameleon-like abilities to relate to the students, who offer more insight into the character of the purported shooters and help him uncover Dowling's darkest secrets.

Parker's no-nonsense protagonist is a wonderfully crafted character who entertains readers with the intelligence he hides behind his tough-guy image. There's never a dull moment in this novel, ripe with mystery and suspense. Parker proves again that Spenser is a timeless, ageless character who never fails to captivate. (Oct., 304 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick