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Publisher's Summary

P. I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in this stellar addition to the iconic New York Times best-selling series from author Ace Atkins.

What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that's exactly what happened.

This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life.

Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today's wild youth. But Dillon's mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn't buying Scali's line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing.

From the Harbor Islands to a gated Florida community, Spenser and trusted ally Hawk follow a trail through the Boston underworld with links to a shadowy corporation that runs New England's private prisons. They eventually uncover a culture of corruption and cover-ups in the old mill town, where hundreds of kids are sent off to for-profit juvie jails.

©2015 Ace Atkins (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    170
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    37
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Thanks Ace.

Ace has the Spenser act down and only Joe's voice can be Spenser. This is one of my favorite Spenser stories.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Louanne
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 05-25-15

A GOOD ROBERT PARKER WANNA BE

I like the Spencer series and have read most of them. Ace Atkins does a good job. I feel as if the glib Spencer is becoming of a parody of the original. too much glib, not enough strait line for me. I think it detracts from a good story. The humor benefits from being in balance and not the main event. The story was good, but so much "personality" detracts from creating some depth and drama. This will not keep me from continuing with the series. I enjoy the non horrific and entertaining nature of these mysteries. I listen alot at night and don't want to have bad dreams.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Really enjoyed this

What made the experience of listening to Robert B. Parker's Kickback the most enjoyable?

I have always been a Spenser fan, I am so glad Ace Atkins has been able to keep the character alive

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Charger
  • Crosby, TX, United States
  • 05-24-15

Spenser and Hawk are always entertaining!

A good story very close to Robert Parker's style. Sixkill is good but you can't beat Hawk! It was a pleasant surprise to find a new Spenser book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Vintage Spenser

Robert Parker lives in the prose of Ace Atkins and the voice of Joe Montegna. They have Spenser captured to perfection. The "he saids" are still there but in much less number. You get the style without the aggravating repetition which was only emphasized in listening to the books being read. Joe handles this masterfully. Five stars all the way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love this

Love the fact that Atkins has Parker's unique voice and style. Love, love, love Joe Mantegna's performance! Great story! Hope to hear more in the future!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Decent Non Parker Spenser

What made the experience of listening to Robert B. Parker's Kickback the most enjoyable?

Narrator Joe Mantegna helps bring out the characters a lot..ones that he knows well..having played Spenser himself.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Not really...It dragged at times...but that goes without saying with a Spenser novel where the title character takes time to rehash his adventures, at different times, with his lover (Susan), and friend (Hawk) and more.

Which scene was your favorite?

One near the end that I won't give away due to it being a spoiler, but secondly there was a woman who was a child advocate whom Spenser had met in another book...their interactions were quite fun.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have loved to, there is not that much that needs to be reflected upon, so it was pretty easy to keep moving through.

Any additional comments?

One of the better non Parker Spenser novels, and better than some of the actual Parker ones. Unfortunately these later ones are hit and miss...so I would qualify this one as a "hit."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful reading.

I love Joe Mantegna's voice. It is an easy mystery to listen to with a predictable ending.

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Parker is "still here"

What made the experience of listening to Robert B. Parker's Kickback the most enjoyable?

Typical Parker story line done by Atkins in a way that is indistinguishable from Robert Parker himself.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh at times.

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ONE OF THE BEST PARKER STORIES BY ACE ATKINS

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it was very interesting and believable. Spenser and Hawk were great in this one.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Spenser - always was, always will be.

What does Joe Mantegna bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Joe Montegna captured the true essence of Spenser years ago. Robert Parker believed that when he chose him to narrate earlier Spenser books.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There was nothing extreme - just pure entertainment.

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  • JB
  • 05-03-17

Missing the maestro

Its not the same anymore now that sadly Mr Parker has no input, its very sad as Spenser and Hawk are such great characters, the story is weaker, the foul language worse and I don't think Joe Mantegna can remember the voices he did last time.

Overall, very disappointing.

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  • Rachel
  • 09-08-16

Joe Mantagne gets Spenser so right!

Joe Mantagne gets Spenser so right! Didn't like the story though! Ace Atkins usually does a good job - just didn't like this one!