“Handpicked by the Parker estate to be the keeper of the flame for the Spenser franchise, award-winning author Ace Atkins…rises flawlessly to the occasion.”—Kirkus Reviews
When fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan asks Spenser to look into her mother’s murder, he’s not convinced by her claim that the wrong man was convicted. Mattie is street-smart, wise beyond her years, and now left to care for her younger siblings and an alcoholic grandmother in a dilapidated apartment in South Boston. But her need for closure and her determination to make things right hits Spenser where he lives.
As Spenser becomes more involved, he thinks that Mattie may be onto something after all. And he’s going to need the help of his friend Hawk to find peace for Mattie—a job that’s more dangerous than he ever thought.
Even the most fanatical Parker fans would be hard pressed to identify any aspect of this Spenser novel that doesn't read as if it were penned by Spenser's late creator. Mattie Sullivan, a street-hardened 14-year-old, asks the Boston PI to solve a cold case the stabbing murder, four years earlier, of her mother, Julie, even though a male friend of Julie's is doing time for the killing. Mattie witnessed two drug dealers hustle her mom into a car, but couldn't get anyone to take her seriously. Spenser accepts the assignment from the endearingly feisty Mattie, agreeing to be paid in doughnuts. Atkins (The Devil's Garden) hits all the familiar marks bantering scenes with Spenser's girlfriend, fisticuffs, heavy-duty backup from the dangerous Hawk as he offers familiar pleasures. At the same time, he breaks no new ground, avoiding the risk of offending purists and the potential rewards of doing something a bit different with the characters.
Not bad, but not great
Like an action movie from the 90s, well written but predictable. Characters are well known and entirely familiar, but not very interesting.
Great book and story. Very Parkeresque. Five stars all the way.
Better than ever
I loved Parker's writing. I may just love Ace's a tad more!