Stardust Spenser, a former boxer, is a private detective from Boston. He is a very down to earth man, who likes to have fun in his work. He is very humorous and takes life as a fun ride. There is a point in the story where a larger man who attempts to intimidate Spenser, who responds by taking the large man down with one kick, all the while laughing at the man. Susan-Spensers girlfriend who has a Ph.D.
in psychology from Harvard. She is a clinical psychologist, who has been romantically involved with Spenser for many years. She often helps him on his cases when he is dealing with a disturbed or possibly dangerous person. She helps Jill Joyce overcome her problems in this novel. Jill Joyce-typical overzealous television star. She is extremely pampered and feels that it is her right to be waited upon. She has lead an extremely rough life, from abandoning her parents to having an illegitimate child.
She has tried to keep this from ruining her reputation, so she is very quiet when it comes to her past. Hawk-is a large, intimidating black man who was born in a ghetto, served with the French Foreign Legion, and was a boxer during the same period as Spenser. His occupation is ‘enforcer’, collector for loan sharks; he will murder for money, which he makes a lot of. Plot Synopsis- Spenser is hired by Zenith Meridien Television to guard Jill Joyce. She has experienced harassment in the recent past, and the company wishes for her to feel safe on the set. Spenser finds that Jill is a troubled, alcoholic, drug addicted, egocentric annoyance that is lost in life.
The morning after they meet, a Mr. Rojack and his thug, Randall try to get Jill to go with them. Jill declines their offer, at which point, Randall attempts to attack the smaller Spenser, only to find himself on the ground within moments. Later that week, Spenser tracks down Rojack, who turns out to be quite wealthy and discovers that Rojack and Jill had more or less gone steady for a couple years. He also learns of Winfred Pomroy, a man who had been”bothering” Ms. Joyce.
He makes plans to visit this man, as it may provide an idea to the identity of the assailant. The following morning, Spenser and Jill discover Babe Loftus, who was Jill’s stunt double, murdered in her dressing room. This provokes spenser to take quicker action, and he sets out for Pomroys home. While he is gone, he has a friend of his, Hawk, look after the starlet. When Spenser visits Pomroy, he finds a recovered alcoholic, living with three dogs. He had been married to Jill 25 years ago and seems to be slightly obsessed with Ms.
Joyce at the present. Spenser journeys to the San Diego area in search of more of Jills past, where he finds her mother. Through her, he learns Jill conceived a daughter with a man Del Rio. Del Rio has since adopted Jill’s daughter, who is now 20 years old. Spenser also tracks down Jill’s father, who hasn’t seen her since she was four.
He briefly questions the poor, troubled man and returns home. Spenser returns to Boston only to find that Jill has run away, Then Del Rio calls and informs Spenser that Jill has escaped to see him. Spenser travels to retrieve Jill. She talks about the man harassing her. Spenser suggests they bring the father in to see Jill.
Spenser then accuses him of killing Babe Loftus, the stunt-woman, to which he confesses, then tries to pull a gun on Spenser. Spenser kills him before he can do anything. Spenser and Jill return to the peaceful setting of Susan’s cabin in Maine and she seems to be in hopeless condition. Susan comes, bringing the 3 dogs that Wilder Pomory had. and when they come to Jill, she responds to them, and as the story ends, she and Spenser have walked around the lake with the dogs, Jill is showing signs of emerging from her condition, where Susan may be able to help her, in fact Jill expresses interest in being treated by Susan.
Opinion-This book was wonderfully written. The characters were all realistic, and they reacted as you would expect to see a person react in real life. The amount of descriptive writing that is in this book is amazing, I could very easily picture the entire story, and Boston came to life in my mind. The relationships between characters in the book was also done very well, Hawk and Spenser responded to each other the way that old friends would do. This was a very fun book to read, because it was real, the people in it were real, and the story was real.