Spare Change


By Robert B.Parker (2007)

This is the first book that I read by Robert B.Parker. It is about finding a serial killer. The plot is more straight forward, leaving little room for further imagination. Perhaps it is too direct, simple, it is not so interesting to read as compared to books by Agatha Christie or Mary Higgins Clark.

This story is about a notorious Spare Change serial killer resurfacing after 20 years. The killer’s mode of operation is to shoot the person in the head, and leave three coins at the scene of the crime, hence the name Spare Change. Spare Change sent numerous letters to Detective Phil during the original crime spree, but then the killings abruptly stopped, until now.

It is later discovered that it is Spare Change killer’s son who have resumed the killings. It seems that the original Spare Change killer was a respectable professor. Well, I think I have read quite a few books in which they seem to suggest that it is very possible for people in restrictive highly moral jobs example priests, teachers to commit crimes, as they are too oppressed to behave morally at all times.

And Spare Change’s son seemed to be too shy and he has difficulty with sex, thats why he needs to resume his father’s identity of Chico Zarilla as Spare Change killer to be secured. The detective books that I read somehow seem to suggest that serial killers often either are too oversexed or undersexed – resulting in abnormal behavior. There is no proof… it is just my own assumption after reading the books.

I guess there is one thing that I learnt from the story – evil genes. Spare Change’s son Bob Johnson had a mother who was very worried that the father’s evil gene would be inherited by the son. Well, her worries are indeed true. I guess sometimes genes and environment will play a part.

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