God Save the Child Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of God Save the Child.
This section contains 479 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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God Save the Child Summary & Study Guide Description

God Save the Child 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 God Save the Child by Robert B. Parker.

As Spenser sits in his office, he realizes he can lean very far back in his chair to see the sky from his office window. He has two potential clients in his office, Margery and Roger Bartlett. They tell him that their teenage son, Kevin, is missing and that the Smithfield Police haven't been able to find the boy. Margery says that "the boy" ran away. Roger says he doesn't know why Kevin would have left home. After spending some time with Margery and Roger Bartlett Spenser believes he knows why Kevin ran away. The Bartletts are self-absorbed, with Roger working all the time to provide his family with everything and Margery spending the money on clothes, classes and liquor. But just as Spenser is certain that Kevin is a runaway, the Bartletts receive a ransom note, demanding fifty thousand dollars. An elaborate sting is set up to follow the kidnappers when they pick up the money, but the pickup happens from a motorcycle and the getaway is achieved smoothly by taking a bridle path with multiple points of escape and no way for police cars to follow.

After the ransom is delivered, the Bartletts get a phone call indicating that Kevin can be found behind a school. Officers find a hearse with a wooden box in the rear, but a dummy stuffed with newspapers springs up when the box is opened. Then Margery is threatened, and the case takes an even more bizarre turn as Spenser has to decide whether the case has anything to do with Kevin, or if the attention to Kevin's disappearance has simply brought out the nut cases who have an unrelated grudge against Margery. When the Bartlett's attorney, Earl Maguire shows up the following day to help prepare for a party, he's killed in the Bartlett's living room. That doesn't stop Margery from throwing her party for sixty-five guests, and Spenser sarcastically notes that Maguire was inconsiderate, getting himself killed on Margery's living room floor.

Spenser will eventually discover that there is no kidnapping but that Kevin has run away with his idol, Vic Harroway. Vic is a body builder and when Kevin decided to go away with Vic, the two hatched the idea to ask for the ransom, planning to use the money for a new start together. Vic and Kevin were in the Bartlett house on the day Maguire arrived and Vic says the murder was an accident.

Spenser's investigation uncovers a scheme involving Vic and two accomplices providing girls for sex. One of the accomplices is Dr. Raymond Croft, a physician wanted in Washington for performing an illegal abortion. Spenser has Croft held by police as he goes to pick up Kevin and tries to unravel the mystery of the third accomplice. As it turns out, that third party is the Smithfield Police Chief, Trask, who kills Croft.

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This section contains 479 words
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