Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser Series #41)

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser Series #41)

3.4 60
by Ace Atkins
     
 

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Old friends. Small favors. Bitter rivals. Stirred together, it all makes for one explosive cocktail. Spenser can feel the heat stretching from Boston to Vegas—and people are about to get burned.

Henry Cimoli and Spenser have been friends for years, yet the old boxing trainer has never asked the private eye for a favor. Until now. A developer is

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Overview

Old friends. Small favors. Bitter rivals. Stirred together, it all makes for one explosive cocktail. Spenser can feel the heat stretching from Boston to Vegas—and people are about to get burned.

Henry Cimoli and Spenser have been friends for years, yet the old boxing trainer has never asked the private eye for a favor. Until now. A developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach—with a push from local thugs. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, are on the trail of a mysterious woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and a shady plan to turn a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. As alliances shift and twisted dreams surface, the Boston political machine looks to end Spenser's investigation one way or another—and once and for all.

“Atkins…has managed to nudge this venerable series in a new direction while staying true to its core, seemingly channeling its creator at every turn. It’s a magnificent accomplishment that is not to be missed.” —Bookreporter.com

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his solid second estate-authorized Spenser novel (after 2012’s Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby), Atkins explores the plot potential of the Boston PI’s last sidekick—recovering alcoholic Zebulon Sixkill, introduced in 2011’s Sixkill, the final series entry written by MWA Grand Master Parker (1932–2010). An old friend, boxing trainer Henry Cimoli, asks Spenser for help. Thugs are pressuring Cimoli and his Revere Beach neighbors to sell their property, to advance a plan for a casino. It’s easy enough for the detective and Sixkill, his new muscle, to drive the bad guys away, but harder to get to the bottom of the cascading violence that follows. Atkins’s ability to perfectly mimic the originals will please diehard fans hungry for familiar pleasures, but this outing won’t change the minds of those who feel that the lead character should have been retired many books ago. Author tour. Agent: Helen Brann, the Helen Brann Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
 Praise for ROBERT B. PARKER’S WONDERLAND

“Atkins finds his footing this time, settling into the character and concocting a fairly complex caper with urban development, organized crime, and sex all playing roles….Quite a good crime novel.”
                   —Booklist

“Solid… Atkins’s ability to perfectly mimic the originals will please diehard fans hungry for familiar pleasures.”
                             —Publishers Weekly

“An entertaining effort.” — Kirkus

“These books are real gems…the old Spenser magic is back.”
                             —Aspen Daily News

Praise for ROBERT B. PARKER’S LULLABY

“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. In addition to the signature dialogue, all the familiars are fully resurrected: Susan, the sexy shrink; Pearl, the wonder dog; Hawk, the wonder sidekick; good cop Quirk, and, of course, Spenser himself, that consummate knight errant for the 21st century.”

Kirkus Reviews

“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.…Atkins hits all the familiar marks – bantering scenes with Spenser’s girlfriend, fisticuffs, heavy-duty backup from the dangerous Hawk – as he offers familiar pleasures.”

Publishers Weekly

“A brisk read. Atkins gets the important things right, from Spenser’s dark sarcasm to the gritty attitude of Mattie Sullivan, a 14-year-old Southie girl trying to solve her mother’s murder.”

Boston Magazine

“Atkins succeeds. He doesn’t sound like somebody trying to emulate Parker…. Spenser, thankfully, sounds like Spenser. You also get the vivid sense of place, flexing of muscles and spare plot that were hallmarks of Parker’s 39 Spenser books….It’s a feat when a writer creates characters who live and breathe on the page and make readers care and keep coming back for more. To manage that with someone else’s characters, let alone with an icon like Spenser, is a minor miracle. Ace Atkins pulls it off.”

Chicago Sun-Times

Kirkus Reviews
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780594551980
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
64,193
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.32(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring Chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.

Ace Atkins is the author of thirteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Robert B. Parker's Lullaby . He was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2012 for The Ranger, the first book in his Quinn Colson series, which also includes The Lost Ones and The Broken Places. Atkins, whom the bestselling author Michael Connelly has called “one of the best crime writers working today,” lives on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.

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