Parker--more deservedly compared to Chandler than most--surely believes, as Chandler did, that the mystery story is a novel. In this, 'his best proof thereof, Spenser is back leading with his chin and that fat lip--Spenser and his attractive Susan. He's trying to find out why Pam Shepard disappeared; she's the wife of Harvey Shepard who turns out to be in hock to a local thug-moneyman in a suspect real estate deal, the Promised Land. Spenser locates Pam quickly but finds she's in almost as bad trouble with some militant sisters on a robbery-murder charge. Two cases in one, neither very complicated, but you read Parker for the sharpest vernacular around (excepting George Higgins) and also for a definite ethical extension: "honorable behavior" not violence is the "real machismo," the integrity Spenser refuses to put in escrow. Nervy, classy entertainment with lots of extracurricular pleasures.