ROBERT B. PARKER'S WONDERLAND by Ace Atkins

ROBERT B. PARKER'S WONDERLAND

KIRKUS REVIEW

Spenser goes to bat for an old friend whose condo in Revere has become a most desirable property for all the wrong reasons.

The money bantamweight boxing promoter Henry Cimoli’s been offered for his place in the Ocean View Condominium isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either, and he’s too old to move without some inducement; getting beaten up by a pair of goons is not his idea of an inducement. So, although he hates asking Spenser for a favor, he grits his teeth and asks. First, Spenser and his Cree apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, help even the odds against the goons; then Z gets beaten up himself before Spenser’s able to identify Vegas casino mogul Rick Weinberg as the player behind Envolve Development’s sexy, brutal Jemma Fraser, who hired the thugs. Armed with knowledge as well as fists and guns, Spenser threatens to go to the newspapers with Weinberg’s plans, which will send Ocean View values skyrocketing before he can close the deal, unless he sweetens his offer. Weinberg, perhaps egged on by the conscience of Rachel, his wife of 40 years, obligingly ups the ante, and the condo board votes unanimously to accept his offer. The win-win scenario collapses, however, when someone cuts off Weinberg’s head, putting the deal in doubt and forcing Spenser to look deeper into the financials—until he finds himself up against not just two hirelings, but the full majesty of old-time mobster Gino Fish’s troops.

Since his creator’s death, Spenser’s dialogue, flippant to start with, has become relentlessly arch, and the tendency must be catching, since several other characters get into verbal jousts with him. Still, it may be unfair to complain that Atkins (Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby, 2012) doesn’t write exactly like Parker. All in all, an entertaining effort.

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-16157-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2013




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Kirkus Interview
Ace Atkins
June 2, 2015

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. View video >

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