ROBERT B. PARKER'S CHEAP SHOT by Ace Atkins

ROBERT B. PARKER'S CHEAP SHOT

KIRKUS REVIEW

Boston’s premier private eye signs on to recover the kidnapped son of one of Boston’s sports heroes.

Defensive lineman Kinjo Heywood is known for his crushing attacks on opposing quarterbacks. Now that a shadowy someone is following him around his hometown, his agent, Steven Rosen, and Patriots security chief Jeff Barnes are forced to play a different kind of defense. Brought in to find out who’s forcing Kinjo to keep looking over his shoulder, Spenser has barely gotten started when Kinjo’s second wife, Cristal, reports that his beloved son, Akira, 9, has been grabbed from her car on the way to school. Days pass with no word from the kidnappers, leaving Spenser and his trainee, Zebulon Sixkill, plenty of time to reopen the case of Cape Verde gangbanger Antonio Lima, shot two years ago in a Manhattan nightclub shortly after a scuffle with Kinjo over a waitress—a case Kinjo’s brother Ray paid Lima’s family handsomely to make go away. When a caller to a popular sports–talk radio show finally phones in a ransom demand for Akira, the $100,000 amount seems suspiciously low, and Spenser soon finds out why. His success puts him in tight with Kinjo but leaves him on the outs with the athlete's handlers and the cops. Then Kinjo takes to the airwaves himself to make a quixotic announcement that seems calculated to push the story, whose tension Atkins (Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland, 2013, etc.) has so far managed admirably, over a cliff. And it does, as the tale fizzles out in a shower of forced entries, meetings with conveniently connected mobsters, eleventh-hour twists and bang bang bang.

Two-thirds of a perfectly controlled kidnap tale, with Spenser close to his top form, crashes, burns and goes down without a trace in the end.

Pub Date: May 6th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-16158-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014




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VERDICT:
BORROW IT
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VERDICT:
SKIP IT
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VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

Upcoming Kirkus Interview

June 2, 2015
Ace Atkins

P.I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in Kickback, the latest in the iconic New York Times–bestselling series from author Ace Atkins. What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened. This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life. Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing. “It’s great to see Spenser tackle a social evil with its roots in real life,” our reviewer writes.

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