by Alan Rapp on January 3, 2013

in Books & Magazines

spenser-lullabyWriter Ace Atkins delivers the first novel of the Spenser series to be published by anyone other than the character’s creator Robert B. Parker. Lullaby is akin to listening to a really good tribute band who play all the same notes and manage to recapture most, although certainly not all, of the magic they themselves obviously love.

The novel begins when Boston P.I. is hired by 14 year-old Mattie Sullivan who four years after the death of her mother still believes the police locked up the wrong man for the crime. Immediately taking a shine to the tough young woman, Spenser accepts the case which will entangle him with an ongoing investigation by the FBI, an old enemy, and all the usual kinds of trouble.

Atkins gets the feel of the basic relationships of the Spenser universe mostly right, including Spenser and Hawk’s bullshitting, and Spenser’s spirited relationships with Susan Silverman, Rita Fiore, and Martin Quirk. Atkins also brings back Frank Belson, Vinny Morris, and baddies Joe and Gerry Broz in order to make longtime fans of the series feel more at home.

I’ve never read anything else by Atkins so I can’t comment on his usual style, but he does a pretty good job staying true to that of Parker in Lullaby. We get several short chapters, lots of smart ass comments, a fine attention to detail, and even a shoot out or two. The book is a quick easy read with the usual mixture of action, mystery, psychology, and one man’s indomitable will. It may not be exactly like reading one of Parker’s novels, but it’s the next best thing.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

spenser June 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Atkins second Spenser novel is better.


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