Yes, it's another Spenser, but this time there's no Hawk, and Susan is just a voice on the phone until the last chapter. Pearl, however, is omnipresent.
Spenser's hired by the grandmother of one of two boys who strolled into their school building with a pair of 9mm pistols each and opened fire. The grandma wants to prove the kid's not guilty, and when it becomes obvious that he is, Spenser decides to find out a couple of things the cops don't care about: why the kid did it and where he got the guns.
If you've read a newspaper in the last ten years or so, you'll be a long way ahead of Spenser on this one. Still I enjoyed reading it. I like Parker's writing; it's as simple as that. He's really doing a lot of books lately, it seems like. That's fine, too. Whatever he wants to write, I'll read, though I admit that I check his books out of the library instead of buying them.