By Robert B. Parker.
In a previous book that I haven't read (Ceremony), Spenser dealt with a teenage hooker named April Kyle. Apparently April was so...badly off or something...that it was determined that it'd be best to just have April keep on hooking. I don't even know what to make of that. But anyway, Spenser seems to have had her sent off to some exclusive hooking establishment, which 3 years later, April has now left. She's left for love...er...well, whatever...with a new pimp who goes to Julliard. Naturally, this sounds kind of stupid and fishy, so Spenser's on it. April makes one brief, sullen, bratty appearance in the book and then disappears, so Spenser goes all over the place and even leaves the country trying to track her down.
What with the chasing-after-the-lady plot and all, I was reminded of Looking For Rachel Wallace. Except we saw more of Rachel and I actually found her interesting. I honestly do not give a shit about April Kyle, so I didn't care if Spenser found her or not. Heck, the new character I did care about more died early on--then Spenser adds "look for the asshole who did her in" to his list of search topics. (Though for the few pages she's in the book, Suki the St. Thomas hooker is pretty amusing.) So for most of this book, I wasn't exactly entranced by the search for a little annoying brat girl or much of anything else going on that didn't involve pitching woo to Spenser's girlfriend.
But it did get better, as Spenser embarks on a campaign of sheer annoyance on a bad guy to get him to fess up to who someone is. I'm talking signs held up on the streets, and telegrams, spraypainting hair of the bad guys, and faking an assassination attempt. That kind of stuff perked me right up.
Overall, I'm giving it two and a half stars. The main plot character is a giant "who gives a fuck if you find her or not", but it gets a half point more than it would for the amusing annoyance techniques.