Boston PI Spenser and right hand Hawk follow a con man’s trail of smoke and mirrors in this thrilling entry in Robert B. Parker’s long-running series.
Connie Kelly thought she’d found her perfect man on an online dating site. She fell so hard for handsome, mysterious M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser’s card...
A self-proclaimed military hotshot, Welles had been a frequent guest on national news shows speaking with authority about politics and world events. When he disappears, he leaves not only a jilted lover but a growing list of angry investors, duped cops, and a team of paramilitary contractors looking for revenge.
Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that Welles’ name, résumé, and client list are nothing but an elaborate fraud. As he follows the mystery man’s trail from Boston to backroads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles’s next con is his last.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Spenser—the poetry-quoting, gun-toting, whiskey-sipping, smartmouthed Boston P.I.—appears here in his 47th novel, and it’s a doozy. A woman hires Spenser to track down her ex-lover, a prodigious liar who romanced her with fabricated spy stories, swindled her of a small fortune, and then disappeared. But it turns out the con man has crossed far scarier people, including agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the gunrunners they’re chasing. Ace Atkins, in his sixth turn continuing Robert B. Parker's smash series, hits the mark; he keeps the signature crackling dialog, dark humor, eye for detail, and huge heart alive.
A taut, suspenseful story line drives Edgar-finalist Atkins's sixth Spenser novel (after 2016's Slow Burn), which deepens the relationship between the Boston PI and his significant other, therapist Susan Silverman. Susan refers patient Connie Kelly to Spenser after learning that Connie was victimized by a con man calling himself M. Brook Welles. A popular cable news talking head on national security issues, he told her he worked for the CIA. While professing his undying love for Connie, Welles scammed her out of almost $300,000 in a bogus real estate deal. Spenser quickly ascertains that most of what Welles has presented as his biography, including a Harvard education, is fabricated. After following the trail to a shady gun dealer, the detective finds it necessary to enlist his deadly sidekick, Hawk, to help track down the truth. Some interesting tension arises because Susan feels responsible for Spenser's involvement in the increasingly perilous case, while her professional ethics constrain her from giving him important information.
Little White Lies
Ace Atkins has really picked up his game. I was very disappointed with his last Spenser book but he has got more of Spenser and his crew. Different than Parker but still Spenser and this one was very entertaining. Keep writing them Ace and let your style make these little changes, it is not Parker but it is coming along. Richard
Finally - One as good or better
The Spenser books that have come our since Parker's passing have been uneven. For example, the one previous to this had a great new character and incorporated Parker's "voice", but the plot fell off a cliff. In Little White Lies, Atkins not only nails his voice and characters, he deepens both while giving us a plot that is worthy of Spenser, Hawk, Suze and Sapp. (Really nice to see Sapp again - and hear about his life today.) First one I read that I thought "Wow, Parker would be proud."
Regarding “Little White Lies”
Just not close to Robert Parker’s Spencer. Didn’t care for the author’s disparaging of people of faith, lumping all Christians in with the charlatans and crooks.
Really miss the original snappy dialogue from the early books. This was my second try with the new author. The first was OK, this one was mostly depressing. I won’t be trying a third.