Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Small Vices

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Small Vices (1998) Robert B. Parker (Spenser)

Small Vices

Since my name was anathema at Pemberton, I had to employ guile. I called the alumni office and said my name was Anathema and I was with the IRS.

“We have an income tax refund for Ms. Glenda Baker, which has been returned by the postal service. Would you have a more recent address for her?”

“What did you say your name was?”

“Anathema,” I said. “Pervis Anathema, refund enactment agent.”

“So,” Hawk said, “Alves borrows or steals a car one night, an inconspicuous old pink Caddy. He drives out to Pemberton in his inconspicuous car, where there ain’t no black folks, and the cops pay attention to any that they see. He cruises around in his inconspicuous car until he spots a white girl on a busy street, drags her into his inconspicuous car in front of witnesses, drives her somewhere, takes off her clothes and strangles her, though he maybe doesn’t rape her, dumps her body in the middle of the Pemberton Campus, and rides on back home with her clothes and the aforesaid ligature in his inconspicuous car, so in case the cops stop him he can incriminate himself.”

For me the days were barely distinguishable, a repetitive sequence of effort and sweat and exhaustion and failure, briefly interrupted by sleep and food.

There was a bookcase on either side of the cold fireplace. She seemed to have moved all her books up from Thirty-seventh Street. I remembered some of them: The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Longfellow: Complete Poetical and Prose Works, The Outline of History, The Canterbury Tales. They didn’t look as if they’d been taken down and thumbed through fondly in the twenty years since I first saw them.

Patricia Utley herself, when she came into the room, didn’t look like she’d been thumbed through much either.

“Anger doesn’t have to be expressed. It is enough to know that you’re angry, and know why, and not lie to yourself about it.”

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: 10/10


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