Robert B. Parker's Lullaby

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan walks into private investigator Spenser's office looking to set the record straight on her mother's murder four years earlier. Mattie is convinced the wrong man was convicted, but the combination of Mattie's age, her mother's history of drug addiction and prostitution, and the evidence compiled against the convicted man all cause the police to turn a deaf ear. Spenser listens, takes the case and soon finds himself embroiled in a dark element of Boston no one's willing to talk about.

Ace Atkins has proven an exceptionally talented writer through his own fiction (Wicked City; The Ranger). With Lullaby, the first Spenser novel written by someone other than Robert B. Parker, Atkins opens himself up to a high level of scrutiny, but the results showcase his skills at a greater level than ever before. Taking the essence of everything that made Spenser one of crime fiction's iconic PIs, Atkins adds an arresting new chapter to the wisecracking, food-loving, former boxer's story. The sharp, witty and engaging dialogue echoes Parker's, and Atkins remains true to the characterizations of all the series' supporting cast--Susan, Hawk, Rita and Quirk--as well as its star. Atkins's sense of Boston is especially impressive; unlike Parker, Atkins is not a native, but that doesn't impair his ability to give the city as much life as any of the characters.

Taking on the challenge of continuing the much-loved Spenser series is a daunting task. Ace Atkins responds with a knock-out punch in round one. Parker would most definitely approve.  --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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