The Boxer and the Spy
Robert B. Parker
Philomel (Putnam), May 2008, $17.99
When the body of Jason Green is found, his classmates, teachers and administrators at Cabot, north of Boston, accept the cops’ official findings that he killed himself because he was juiced with “roids”. Only student athlete Terry Novak disagrees with the prevalent suicide theory; he knows that Jason may have been a lover, but was not a jock so would not have done steroids to become a landscape designer as the teen planned to be. Terry wonders if his classmate he was murdered.
Terry half persuades his best friend Abby to help him investigate the death. However, he makes little progress until his trainer retired professional boxer George encourages him to hold his head up, jab away, and not quit. Heeding that advice, Terry keeps digging not aware the danger he brings to himself and Abby by someone who wants the ruling to remain suicide.
Obviously targeting the teen crowd, Robert B. Parker provides an engaging high school mystery starring a young sleuth trying to uncover the truth about the recent death of a classmate. With a strong support cast from George to cigarette smoking Beverly, Suzi and Tank to Mr. Principal and more, the story line is fast-paced from the first jab to the last as Terry and Abby follow clues that lead them to danger.