School Days (Spenser #33) by Robert B. Parker

School Days

Lily Ellsworth – erect, firm, white-haired, and stylish – is the grande dame of Dowling, Massachusetts, and possesses an iron will and a bottomless purse. When she hires Spenser to investigate her grandson Jared Clark’s alleged involvement in a school shooting, Spenser is led into an inquiry that grows more harrowing at every turn. Though seven people were killed in cold blood, and despite Jared’s being named as a co-conspirator by the other shooter, Mrs. Ellsworth is convinced of her grandson’s innocence.

Jared’s parents are resigned to his fate, and her boy himself doesn’t seem to care whether he goes to prison for a crime he may not have committed.” As the probe goes on, Spenser finds himself up against a number of roadblocks, from the school officials who don’t want him asking questions, to Jared’s own parents, who are completely indifferent to the boy’s defense.

Ultimately, Spenser discovers a web of blackmail and some heavy-duty indiscretions, and a truth too disturbing to contemplate. Before the case reaches its unfortunate end, he is forced to make a series of difficult decisions – with fatal consequences.

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I think this was one of the worst fictional school shooting novels that I have read. The biggest problem with the novel was that it lacked emotion. No one in the town seemed to care about the shooting, which killed seven, including the suspects’ parents.

Enter Spenser, a private investigator, who is hired by one of the suspect’s grandmother, who believes that her grandson is innocent. Spenser quickly discovers that Jared was involved with the shooting, but can’t find out why he did it.

The novel mostly follows Spenser who is trying to uncover Jared’s secrets as well as probe into why no one seems to care about the boys and the shooting. I found that this approach lacks excitement as the reader is following along with Spenser as he talks to people.

2 calculators out of a potential 5. An interesting concept that I found fell flat.

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15 thoughts on “School Days (Spenser #33) by Robert B. Parker

  1. I would think a book about a school shooting would be extremely emotional. Hopefully you enjoy your next book more. Thanks for the honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

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