A Savage Place Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Savage Place.
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A Savage Place Summary & Study Guide Description

A Savage Place Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on A Savage Place by Robert B. Parker.

A Savage Place is eighth in the series of Spenser novels by Robert Parker and is set in the early 1980s. In this novel, Spenser handles a case that takes him from his native Boston to Los Angeles in order to protect a young, ambitious newscaster as she investigates corruption in the movie industry. Soon Spenser realizes this woman is in more trouble than he originally believed when her eyewitness, and only proof of her allegations, is found murdered. A Savage Place is a portrait of Los Angeles in the early eighties that both frightens and inspires Spenser's loyal fans and the newly initiated alike.

Spenser receives a call from a former client warning him that a newscaster from Los Angeles will be calling him soon about taking on a new case. When Spenser receives the expected call, the young woman, Candy Sloan, refuses to give him much information about her case, but insists that she needs him as a bodyguard, not an investigator. Intrigued, Spenser agrees to take the case. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Candy tells Spenser little more about the case, instead insisting that he rest from his flight and she will advise him on the case the following day. In the morning, however, Candy fails to pick up Spenser as promised. Instead, Spenser is chauffeured by a friend of Candy's, who is clearly annoyed with Spenser.

When Spenser arrives at Candy's home, he discovers that she was beaten up by a couple of thugs the night before. Candy received a tip on a story she was doing, but the tip turned out to be a rouse to get her alone, away from the studio. Two men pushed Candy into a van and beat her, while warning her they would do more if she did not stay away from her investigation into a movie studio's corruption. Candy tells Spenser how Mickey, the friend who brought Spenser to Candy's house, saw a studio boss pay a bribe to a man who closely resembles the man who beat up Candy. It is this bribe and implied corruption that Candy has been investigating.

Spenser spends the next days at Candy's while she recovers from her injuries. When Candy is fully recovered, Spenser tags along as she resumes her investigation. First Candy visits the head of the studio where Mickey saw the bribe. The man becomes enraged and orders Candy and Spenser off the lot. Instead, Candy and Spenser go to the commissary where they have a conversation with an acquaintance. During this conversation, the studio boss comes in with security and has them escorted off the lot. Shortly afterward, Spenser and Candy are driving through town when Spenser notices they are being followed. Spenser has Candy pull over at a farmer's market where he doubles back and catches one of the men near Candy's car. Spenser overpowers the man and interrogates him, only to learn he is a hired thug and knows little about the situation.

Shortly after this confrontation, Spenser and Candy learn that Mickey has been murdered. Spenser believes that someone at the studio figured out it was Mickey who was Candy's informant and decided to silence him. Candy decides the next obvious step is to go to the head of the company that owns the studio, Peter Brewster. However, her reception at Brewster's office is cold and Candy gets no help there. Candy decides she should then visit Sam Felton, the man who paid the bribe that Mickey witnessed. While there, Franco, the thug who beat up Candy and who Spenser suspects killed Mickey, shows up. Franco leaves with Felton after Spenser kills Franco's partner who was trying to keep Franco from killing Spenser and Candy. Spenser calls the police and is cleared of any charges, but is warned to back off the case when Felton is found murdered. The television station also tells Candy to back off, informing her that she is no longer on the story.

Spenser is told to leave town since he is no longer being paid by the studio, but he decides to stick around anyway. Spenser moves into Candy's house and watches as she begins to romance Peter Brewster in hopes of getting him to reveal some information about corruption at the studio. Candy believes that Brewster is going to meet with some known mob associates and asks Spenser to follow her on one of her dates. Spenser does, but is unable to follow closely enough to stop Brewster from killing Candy. Upset by her death and his inability to stop it, Spenser goes to Brewster's office and takes him and his head of security hostage in Brewster's office. Spenser then calls the television station for which Candy worked and has them send over a news crew to film Brewster's confession. When Spenser is satisfied that Brewster will be arrested and that his confession, confirming Candy's allegations, will air, Spenser is arrested for assault and kidnapping. However, the detective involved in the case allows Spenser to go home with the understanding that he will return to testify in Brewster's trial.

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