Hundred-Dollar Baby

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Hundred-Dollar Baby

By Robert B.Parker (2006)

This story seems to be linked to a previous Spenser novel in which Spenser helped teenage runaway April Kyle get off the streets. Hmm… I don’t know whether you call it good or bad. Spenser just helped her changed from low class prostitution to high class prostitution.

There is similar style of writing and some of the details are familiar if you have read “Sea Change”. Sea Change was also published in year 2006 but it featured another detective Jesse Stone. All his detectives seem to be of similar style and had certain preference style to communicate and love their woman in life.

This story is considered average to me – perhaps 3 stars out of 5. I think “Double Play” is a better story.

Anyway, I learned a few important things from this novel. First of all, the author mentioned that “Without some sort of major intervention, people don’t change much.”  Hence, if you really want to know someone, you have to look at his or her history. Basically, it won’t change.

April Kyle has a certain tendenacy to fall in love with the wrong men. In this story “Hundred-Dollar Baby”, she fell in love with the wrong guy again, and it leads to her betrayal of her mentor Patricia Utley. So history repeats again.I believe in this saying too – People don’t change.  In a book “Time Power” by Brian Tracy, he mentioned the same thing.

“People don’t change” – this is a basic rule in relationships. Both you and every person you meet are products of their entire lives. Starting in infancy and early childhood, people are exposed to influences that shape their behaviors. By the late teens, their values and personalities are largely fixed. If you ever attend a 10,20 or 30 year high school reunion, you will be amazed to see that, aside from the signs of aging, the people you grew up with are very much the same decades later.

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There is another disturbing area in the story in which all the customers looking for high class prostitutes are being shot secretly with their face directly in front of the cameras. It is for security, safety, blackmail or leverage on the sex customers, well… for all sorts of reasons.. I am not sure. But the book does make a point.”April ask you to do that?”
“Sure. All the girls. She wanted to be able to identify every client’s face.”

“Why?”
Amy looked a little startled.
“I don’t know. She said something about a record in case there was trouble.”
“You didn’t mind the cameras,” I said.
“Mind? No. You’re stark naked, alone with a strange guy in a room with the door locked. I liked it that someone was keeping an eye.”
“Ever any trouble?”
“You mean like a client getting out of hand?”
“Yes.”
“Not often,” she said. The clients are screened pretty good.”
“But now and then?”
“Now and then you get a creep.” she said. “One of the house rules is that none of the girls has to do something they don’t want to. I mean, you know, creepy stuff.”

“Now and then you get some guy, drunk or stoned, and he wants something and you say no and he goes off on you.”

“And the security camera alert someone and they come to your rescue.”

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