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

( 58 )

Overview

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 heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and plans to turn to a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. Bitter rivals emerge, alliances turn, and...
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Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser Series #41)

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Overview

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 heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and plans to turn to a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. Bitter rivals emerge, alliances turn, and the uglier pieces of the Boston political machine look to put an end to Spenser's investigation.

Aspiration, greed, and twisted dreams all focus on the old Wonderland dog track where the famous amusement park once fronted the ocean. For Spenser and Z, this simple favor to Henry will become the fight of their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
Atkins’s second novel based on the late Robert B. Parker’s famous series finds private detective Spenser and young apprentice Zebulon Sixkill sleuthing their way into a scheme involving the beachfront property occupied by the shuttered Wonderland dog track. Narrator Joe Mantegna has long been associated with the popular Spenser series, portraying the title character in several TV adaptations and narrating numerous audiobooks. That he has done so with Parker’s blessing is understandable. The novel contains large sections of fast-paced dialogue—which Mantegna deftly handles. Additionally, the narrator perfectly captures Spenser’s sarcastic and flippant tone. And when dealing with friends during times of trouble, Spenser—as interpreted by Mantegna—drops his brittle attitude and becomes more compassionate and less hardboiled. A Putnam hardcover. (May)
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)
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: 9780449807910
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: Spenser Series , #41
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,013,199
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins
Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Ace Atkins is the author of eleven previous books, including two Colson novels, The Ranger—nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel—and The Lost Ones. In addition, he has been selected by the Robert B. Parker Estate to continue the Spenser novels, the first of which, Robert B. Parker's Lullaby, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    One of the best

    I see an awful lot of single stars and whining going on. Apparently nobody read the book. I've read all the Parker books since the 1980s and have read the majority of Atkins'. This is an outstanding example of Parker-esque writing, a superb development of a key character that I had hoped Parker would develop (Z), a new involvement with Henry, and a genuinely high-quality plot. I was totally pleased and the only whining I'm going to do is that it takes too long to get a new book out. (and, by the way, this is not the only book where Hawk and Susan don't play key roles ... Parker did the same thing himself).

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Please tell Ace Atkins to stop writing. Without him describing w

    Please tell Ace Atkins to stop writing. Without him describing what Spenser had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus every single time he took a drink, the book would be about 10 pages long. NEVER again do I buy a book written by someone who thinks he can pass himself off as Robert Parker. Biggest waste of 20.00 ever!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Was very disappointed in this book. Have read all of Robert Park

    Was very disappointed in this book. Have read all of Robert Parker's books. Since his passing it isn't the same. This one has no Susan or Hawk.   So disappointing. 

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    Not Spenser

    No Hawk no Susan no read

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    I feel as though the authors taking over Robert B Parkers storie

    I feel as though the authors taking over Robert B Parkers stories are trying to capitalize on them....the cost for the last few books have been way too expensive. Disappointed to say the least.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    This is a disappointing read to me.   Spenser has been reduced t

    This is a disappointing read to me.   Spenser has been reduced to being rather lecherous rather than appreciative of beauty.   Robert B. Parker did not need to fill his pages with unsavory language as this book exploits.  For many of us who have read all of Parker's books, this is not keeping true to form. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Another great read

    Parker's gone now but this like the last one is written in the true Robert B. Parker style with all the he said she said if you know what I mean. I'm only half way through the book as I have been side tracked with library books which I have to return. That's one of the beauties of a Parker mystery; pick it up or put it down any time you like and the stories continues.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Sissy 5/2013 A okay read

    Have read better,

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Haven't read and won't as it does not have the characters that I

    Haven't read and won't as it does not have the characters that I love...Hawk and Susan

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    I would not recommend the book.

    Filthy language kept me from finishing the book. Story line was okay but.........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    What happened

    Story moves along, spencer is spencer But no susan and no hawk makes for a disappointing trip. Z may be ok but he s no
    Hawk. Sorry I spent the money!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    I usually read these in one night, but have left this one after

    I usually read these in one night, but have left this one after a few chapters. All of the "cutesiness" of Spencer, but none of the substance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    This one was just plain boring. Not the usual entertaining Spen

    This one was just plain boring. Not the usual entertaining Spenser story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2013

    I was devastated when Robert B. Parker died in 2010, as he was

    I was devastated when Robert B. Parker died in 2010, as he was one of my favorite writers for decades. I have read every one of his books, and his death left a huge hole in my literary pleasure. I was hugely skeptical when I learned that his books were to be written by an unknown (to me, at that point)author. Thankfully, his estate hand-picked a fitting writer to carry on the tradition. "Wonderland" is the second Spenser novel written by Ace Atkins, and it's a dandy. The language is the same, as are the relationships. The witty repartee remains, and the highbrow (and lowbrow) snark is intact. RBP would be proud that his legacy is yet untarnished. My only complaint is a minor one; I missed Spenser's other half. Don't get me wrong, I like Z, but he's no Hawk. But then, who is? The mysteries remain fresh, and Spenser never bores.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    loved it

    Spenser was his old self but missed Hawk

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  • Posted September 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Well, Ace Atkins signed a contract for three Parker novels, but

    Well, Ace Atkins signed a contract for three Parker novels, but apparently he didn’t agree to the tried and true formula. In this interesting book, he deviates from the usual cast of characters, concentrating on some of the background participants, like Henry Cimoli, proprietor of Spenser’s gym, and his sort-of assistant-in-training, the Cree Indian Zebulon Sixkill (“Z”), sending Hawk away to Miami, and Susan Silverman to the Carolinas to teach for a semester. It’s an interesting change of pace, contributing strongly to the plot’s progression.

    The plot revolves around the competition for a casino in Boston, with the usual strong-armed tactics, bribes, politicians and underworld interests. Henry, along with a lot of other senior citizens, lives in a condo on the beach in Revere near a bankrupt dog track named after its former occupant, Wonderland. The coop is a key plot of land giving the proposed casino site on the Wonderland site access to the beach. Physical pressure is put on the coop owners by thugs, and Henry asks Spenser for assistance. And it’s Spenser and Z, off to the races.

    Atkins has Parker’s style down pat, and the dialogue and smart aleck cracks flash by regularly. Spenser remains Spenser and the chapters remain short although some of the paragraphs are longer than in the master’s versions. While the conclusion turns out to be an old-fashion motive for some murders, it is entirely believable and appropriate, and the novel is recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Meh- It's a Spenser Novel, but that's it.

    Always an issue when transitioning a new voice into a character to start changing the formula. No Hawk, limited Susan. Some scenes are drawn out, while others that in the past would have been detailed are glossed through. Obviously a copy of Spenser's mystique and not the real thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    DIXIE AN SIBLINGS

    GO TO SECOND RES

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    I was entertained

    Granted, Ace Atkins is no R.B.P., but I think he does an admirable job of keeping true to R.B.P.'s characters. He does a MUCH better job than the clown who took over the Jesse Stone franchise!
    I felt that this was still the Spenser I've come to know over the years but a little older and more refined. True...no Hawk and vey little Susan but then they weren't in every one of R.B.P's stories either. I really like Zebulon Sixkill, but felt Atkins missed the opportunity to take the last character that Parker introduced us to and make him his own and further develop him. I do think I got to know Henry Cimoli better.
    The action is tight, dialog witty and there are enough plot twists to keep you guessing. I did expect the bodyguard, Bernard, to take a bigger role and was disappointed in how he turned out.
    All and all, good entertainment; especially for a rainy summer afternoon!

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    I enjoyed this.

    I enjoyed this book. It is nice to know that Spenser and the other people I have enjoyed in the series still have a life. I look forward to more stories and hope that Hawk will also be rejoining the action sometime in the future.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews

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