Reviews for Robert B. Parker's Wonderland
by Ace Atkins
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Boston PI Spenser and Henry Cimoli, owner of a Boston gym, formerly a haven for boxers but now supported by spandex-clad exercisers, have been friends for years. Now Henry needs help. Developers are bullying the mostly older occupants in Henry's condo in an attempt to make them sell cheap. So far it's been mostly intimidation, but folks are scared. Hawk, Spenser's longtime cohort, is out of town, so the PI enlists the assistance of Zebulon Sixkill, an intern of sorts. They send the developer's thugs on their way and then negotiate a lucrative buyout for Henry and his neighbors, but it could be all for naught when the developer is decapitated and a plethora of greedy, jealous, and ambitious players attempt to take control. After an uneven start at re-creating Spenser (Robert B. Parker's Lullaby, 2012), Atkins finds his footing this time, settling into the character more comfortably and concocting a fairly complex caper with urban development, organized crime, and sex all playing roles. Atkins still isn't Parker, of course, but this is quite a good crime novel.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2010 Booklist
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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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.