The first novel starring Grofield, Parker's sometime accomplice, could have been a Parker novel, but only up to a point. The Damsel picks up with Grofield right where The Handle, the eighth Parker novel, left him, and the opening is similar to the second and third Parker novels: Grofield is minding his own business in a hotel room when the title character invades through a window. She is on the run, we soon learn, from people who are trying to prevent her from making it to Acapulco in time to warn a South American dictator that his life is in danger. Her motivation for doing this (for risking her life for doing this) is thin at best. Parker, the pragmatist, would have gotten far away from her as quickly as possible. Grofield, the romantic, throws his lot in with her. Bottom line: Stupid plot, please give me the next Parker novel.