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Robert B. Parker (Robert Brown Parker) Biography

(1932– ), (Robert Brown Parker), The Godwulf Manuscript, The Judas Goat, Looking for Rachel Wallace

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cynthia Ozick Biography to Ellis Peters Biography

American crime novelist, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, educated at Boston University; he has taught in various American colleges. Working firmly within the tradition of Raymond Chandler, Parker's first novel, The Godwulf Manuscript (1974), introduces the central character of Spenser, almost a caricature of the traditional private eye—an efficient boxer, a crack shot, a man of letters, and a lover of women. Parker combines tough and sensitive characterization with a gift for narrative momentum. Spenser's cases often involve uncovering a conspiracy—The Judas Goat (1978), Looking for Rachel Wallace (1980), and A Catskill Eagle (1985) all take this form, and in Valediction (1984) he is up against a sinister religious cult. In most of the later novels, Spenser is aided by a ruthless black assistant, Hawk, and his life is complicated by his relationship with his lover, the impossibly perfect Susan Silverman. Among Parker's best books are God Save the Child (1974), Mortal Stakes (1975), and Promised Land (1976). He has published the completion of Chandler's fragment Poodle Springs (1989), and a sequel to The Big Sleep entitled Perchance to Dream (1991).

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