In this thin sequel to Ceremony (1982), tough/noble Spenser again sets out to save (more or less) teen prostitute April Kyle--now working in Manhattan, where she has foolishly left the classy brothel run by Patricia Utley (Spenser's chum) in order to turn call-girl tricks for a sleek black pimp named Robert Rambeaux. Spenser talks to April briefly; she declares her love for Rambeaux. But then April disappears, Rambeaux is found murdered--and so is Ginger, a hooker who supplied Spenser with information on Rambeaux. Where is April? Who killed Rambeaux and Ginger? To find out, Spenser traces Ginger's prostitution career--from sexual abuse in home-town Maine to a Portland message parlor to Boston's "Crown Prince Club," an upscale macho sex-emporium with links to the Mob and a lecherous bank president. And the limp, predictable plot leads to Spenser (assisted by Hawk) making a deal with the powerful bad guys in order to rescue April. Despite more than a few good one-liners, the Spenser of the 1980's continues to be a smug, self-righteous narcissist (as preoccupied with his outfits as any pimp), and not much fun. The hoary sentimentality about prostitution is slathered on extra thick. But, with Parker's easy-read style and a bit less pretentiousness than some recent Spensers, this should do well commercially--thanks largely to heavy promotion, the TV tie-in, and the crest of Parker popularity that has coincided so ironically with his descent from genre artist to self-indulgent hack.