Top critical review
40 year reread
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2015
I read this book a little after it came out, in 1978. This was first of Parkers books I ever read. I thought it was one of the best Hard Boiled PI book ever, up there with my two favorites Chandler and MacDonald.. I started buying every Spenser book as they were published, for the next few years. After his first 10 books, I got tired of the characters, so I stopped reading them. I also got upset when Parker decided to write a sequel to Raymond Chandlers, Philip Marlowe series. I thought it was a cheap shot, at the greatest mystery series ever. Parkers, Marlowe was awful. Nothing like the Chandler character.
I decided to reread Promise Land when I saw it on Amazon. I read it so long ago, it was almost a fresh read, I did remember some of the books details. In forty years my tastes have changes. I did have as high regard for the story, as when I originally read it. I always like character portrayal of Spenser and Hawk. Although the television series, was terrible, and the actors were nothing like the characters in the book. Especially their physical portrayal. I also found in the book Susan Silverman as being terribly annoying and superficial. In this book Susan, Pam (the runaway wife, Spenser his hired to find, by her husband) and Spenser have detailed, long discussions, on the questions of "machismo.' When I originally read this I found these discussion interesting but now, I found them ridiculous. I felt the same about the endless discussions between Spenser and Susan about there ever changing relationship. This book was written about the time of the Patti Hearst Kidnapping, when the Black Panther movement was at it peak and after the Anti-Vietnam protests. The novels has a flavor of these events, but uses radical feminist. Pam is one of the most morally corrupt, shallow, stupid, selfish and weakest characters I have ever read about. I had totally not sympathy for her. I couldn't believe than Spenser or Susan felt she was a victim. 40 years ago I would have given this book 5 stars, today only three. I might read a newer book on Spenser to see how it evolved. I don't like the fact that the series has continued after Parkers death, with a new author. .