"A Savage Place," the eighth Spenser novel from Robert B. Parker, is very reminiscent of "Looking for Rachel Wallace." This is not only because Rachel calls up our hero to inform him she is sending him a client, but Spenser is again being hired to be a body guard for a feminist character. However, if you thought things went wrong went Spenser tried to protect Rachel Wallace, wait until you read what happens with Candy Sloan, a television reporter in Hollywood investigating corruption and racketeering in the movie industry. This is also another Spenser novel where he is away from Boston, this time dealing with the tawdry glory of Tinsletown (the author must have been out for an extended visit at some point), so do not expect to see Susan and Hawk, or for Spenser to spend a lot of time cooking. As a matter of fact, our hero does not spend a lot of time doing much for most of this book, mainly giving advice to the woman he is supposed to be protecting.
Of course Candy is aggressive and ambitious, insisting that she has to break the case even if the smarter and safer thing to do would be to let the police do it. She is also very sexy, which leads to an interesting distinction from Spenser on various definitions of "cheating." The bad guys are your traditional stereotypical assortment of blustering idiots but Lieutenant Samuelson for LAPD is one of the better kindred spirits Spenser has run across outside of the environs of Boston and I enjoyed their discussions of the case much more than Spenser and Candy going head to head on feminist issues.
This is an average Spenser novel, although I do appreciate the fact that Parker always makes a concerted effort not to double-back on what he has done previously. As always, the Spenser novels are easy brain candy for those of us living the commuter lifestyle or who have a couple of hours to kill on a lazy afternoon.