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Wednesday 3 December 2014

‘Wonderland’ by Ace Atkins

Published by No Exit Press,
29 May 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-84344-281-3

For anyone who read the Robert B. Parker novels with pleasure the idea that they would be continued after his death is pleasing. Ace Atkins really has the style of Robert Parker pegged. Parker's detective Spenser ( same spelling as the poet as he is wont to remind his interlocutors) is a PI with great ability and experience in Boston. He is a tough guy who trains obsessively in Henry Cimoli's gym and, at the same time, enjoys witty repartee and gourmet cooking. Spenser is accompanied by the dog Pearl, his long term girlfriend Susan and a Native American sidekick known as Z. Though Hawk, a long established character, is not present In this tale and Susan makes only fleeting appearances the story follows Parker's plans since he introduced Z in the last book he wrote.

Henry is being menaced by thugs who support an effort to buy the condo in which he lives. Spenser is willing to assist his friend and Z, who is being trained by Spenser in the PI mould, gets valuable experience. The story, as is common in Parker tales, becomes very murky as the involvement of groups who wish to introduce casinos into Boston leads to murder. Spenser is forced to talk to various underworld characters - few of whom appreciate his humour. The body count rises and Spenser finds himself, in Susan's temporary absence, forced to offer protection in his home to a beautiful, hard and predatory woman. The story moves fast with Spenser teasing out the tangled skeins of greed, brutality and corruption. A worthy successor to Robert B. Parker!
Reviewer: Jennifer S Palmer

Ace Atkins is an experienced crime writer with several stand alones, a series about Nick Travers and his Quinn Coulson series which he continues to write. He has already published the Spenser Lullaby and is writing more Spensers. In an interview in 2013 he explained that he couldn't write the Coulson and Spenser books at the same time - he writes the two series separately allowing half a year for each!

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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