With each new novel, Robert Parker's talent seems to deepen. In Mortal Stakes, Spenser is back again: tough, funny, sentimental, and this time drawn into the problem he had set out to solve. The crime is blackmail; the victims, a greatly talented big league pitcher and his wife. The problem is to solve the crime without destroying the pitcher's career and marriage.
Spenser's search for the solution takes him to a small Illinois town, a high-class New York whorehouse, a Boston loan shark, a shootout in the woods, and a confrontation with his own sense of honor.
Mortal Stakes is about all these things: about crime and its detection, about baseball, about love, and ultimately about code behavior and its limits. The characters are a fine assortment of the quirky, the poignant, and the wonderfully unlikable; the baseball background is sharp and fresh; and Boston once again proves to be a city of infinite charm and variety.