Atkins has more than captured the essence of Spenser. I have been rereading all the old Spenser novels (via Audible) and thus the whole enivronment is..Show More » fresh in my mind. I honestly can not tell that this book was written by a different author. He has captured the universe entirely, including references to unseen characters from previous tomes that fit right into the flow. There is no sense that he used a "checklist" to ensure that he covered all the bases - something very common with follow-on works. Everything here felt right. He captures Susan and Hawk perfectly, and his references to inside-Boston stuff was spot on. Finally, the story was compelling and held my interest. The new characters were well-developed and felt as if they belonged in the Spenser universe.
Ace gets an A+ from this avid Parker reader. (Are you ready to do another Cole and Hitch?) I'm looking forward to the next Spenser - may he live forever!
Thank you to the Parker estate for letting this series continue.
Joe Mantegna is the perfect reader for this series. I've listened to several others, who range from OK down to horrible - but Joe captures the spirit and attitude of the stores perfectly. (I'm aware that he portrayed Spenser in some made-for-TV movies that were not well received by most Spenser fans, but reading is not the same as acting). Joe does the multiple roles well, and I think he does the best Hawk of any of the readers.
In short, I strongly recommend this novel to either long-time Parker fans, or new readers. You won't be disappointed!