In Apple Knoll, a small suburban town, something has gone terribly wrong. Kevin Bartlett, the son of Roger and Margery Bartlett is missing. Private investigator Spenser is appointed the task of finding the Bartlett's son. At first there are signs of a simple escape from a drunk mom and a raging household, then the arrival of a ransom note brings other ideas to mind. Spenser begins collecting clues and following leads as well as becoming side tracked with a woman. The scene Spenser encounters is not typical of a small suburban town. A suspicious body builder named Vic Halloway is Spenser's main suspect but may only have a partial role in the bigger picture.
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The review of this Book prepared by Eric Raybon
Fourteen-year old Kevin has run away from Apple Knoll, an affluent development in the suburb of Boston.
His parents, the Bartletts, call the police, then Spenser. Soon they receive a ransom note in the form of a comic-strip. They pay the ransom, but don't get their son back.
After a few days, Spenser discovers with some help from Kevin's sister that the teenager might have left willingly with one of his friends and heroes, a gay body-builder named Vic Halloway. Still, Spenser just does not manage to find where he is.
In the course of the inquiries, Spenser meets Susan Silverman, the school guidance counselor (his girl-friend in future Spenser episodes).
When, Mrs Bartlett receives death threats, and the family lawyer gets killed in the living room, Mrs Bartlett wants Spenser to protect her, but she decides to continue with party plans for sixty-five people at her home!
Spenser does not think much of the Bartletts, but does his job. He calls in a favor, finds where Halloway hangs out, and start following him. It leads him to the local doctor, and a local prostitution ring.
The review of this Book prepared by Lydie Barquet