Hush Money by Robert B. Parker
Robert. B. Parker adds another classic to his legendary Spenser series with Hush Money, a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavy-weights. When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumour mill, no one is willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist. At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K.C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional-client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him. Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly. It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of the iceberg in a great conspiracy to keep America white, male and straight. Spenser must call upon his every resource, including friends on both sides of the law, to stay alive.