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Publisher's Summary

Iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser delves into the black market art scene to investigate a decades-long unsolved crime of dangerous proportions. 

The heist was legendary, still talked about 20 years after the priceless paintings disappeared from one of Boston's premier art museums. Most thought the art was lost forever, buried deep, sold off overseas, or, worse, destroyed as incriminating evidence. But when paint chips from the most valuable piece stolen, Gentlemen in Black by a Spanish master, arrives at the desk of a Boston journalist, the museum finds hope and enlists Spenser's help.  

Soon the cold art case thrusts Spenser into the shady world of black market art dealers, aged Mafia bosses, and old vendettas. A $5 million reward by the museum's top benefactor, an aged, unlikable Boston socialite, sets Spenser and pals Vinnie Morris and Hawk onto a trail of hidden secrets, jailhouse confessions, and decades-old murders.  

Set against the high-society art scene and the low-life back alleys of Boston, this is classic Spenser doing what he does best.

©2018 Ace Atkins, Robert B. Parker (P)2018 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ace Atkins continues . . .

To massage the Spenser series in a way that I like. More modern and in the moment with some interesting plots. I do wish sixkill would come back to Boston or get his own series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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another winner

love the spenser series. this is more of a detective novel. montegna is fantastic reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good story, as usual!

Ace did a solid job and Mantegna was like having your Uncle read you a story at bedtime.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spenser, as usual

When Robert B Parker died, I was afraid we were done with Spenser for good. Fortunately, the torch was handed to Ace Atkins, who must be channeling Parker for the quality of his work bringing Spenser to life. Once again we have Spenser in a tight spot, trying to help a dying friend while dealing with clients who just want him to shut up and obey and foes who just want him out of the way, all with the humor, irony, and panache that are his trademarks, giving rise to laugh-out-loud exchanges as he gets the job done his way. No Hawk this time, but it's good to see him working with Vinnie Morris again. Joe Mantegna brings the characters to life in an enjoyable and convincing manner. And as always, I can't wait for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thanks to Ace Parker

What a treat to be able to continue to enjoy Spenser and various friends. Parker would have been impressed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dana
  • Maynard, Morocco
  • 07-27-18

Excellent book

Loved it! Ace Atkins is doing a phenomenal job writing these books. Throughly enjoyed this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What is old is new(ish) again

Atkins has without a doubt breathed new life in the Spenser series and that's not a bad thing at all. What has not happened, in my opinion, is a transformation in the storytelling. We're still talking to the same characters (and children of characters) for the past several books. If we, as readers, are going to re-hash the last few books for the next few books it will be easy to see how the series will run out of gas. While the mysteries at the center of the Spenser series have never been too twisty this one had a switchback or two that was enjoyable. Mantegna keeps knocking it out of the park and I hope he continues doing the stories for as long as they are written. It's almost impossible for me to imagine a Spenser without Joe. I fear, however, that with the new Wahlberg/Netflix deal may ignite the change in the series that I am least looking forward to--no more Joe as narrator.

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  • Tanisha
  • CT, United States
  • 07-18-18

Boring, Wordy and Unncessary

I've been a fan of Robert B. Parker's writing, specifically Spenser novels, for years and this one was way off. The plot and reasoning was convoluted. There were so many characters coming in and out that it was hard to distinguish who was who and why they were involved. Joe Mantegna did an excellent job per usual but this was a bad novel. By the end I didn't care who stole the painting or why. The writing for Spenser didn't come off as witty banter but instead it made him seem like a dumbass. Instead of using witty retort in a meaningful way it was just to give the attitude that I'm better than you, in a very elitist manner, than these Boston goons who were trying to jam him up.

Then there was his interaction with Marty. When does Marty send Spenser on a freaking goose chase or spinning his wheels instead of letting him know what's going on? This is a 20 year old case, it's not active, so there would be no harm in letting Spenser know what he knows instead he put Spenser in harms way for nothing. When did Robert every let that happen between Marty and Spenser?

Then the whole bases of the novel. A bunch of Boston hardcore mobsters steal a painting with little forethought about how to get rid of it for cash. Really? When did you hear of a mobsters doing anything with no purpose, either its money, revenge or leverage. Then the painting was hidden away for years for what a mounted to nothing except prestige to say you had something you didn't really have.

This was a ridiculous story that should've never been penned under Robert B. Parker's name. I know Spenser is not really Ace Atkins' but if you're going to write on behalf of Robert you have to keep it true to the spirit of the novels or keep it for your own novels. This was a mess and I couldn't wait for it to be over and reviewers who read the book said the editing was atrocious. I believe the worst review you can give is that it was unnecessary, wordy and boring and this book was all three. - Reviewer: Limitless Reads

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MJ
  • 05-19-18

Disappointment

Not up to the standard of what Robert B. Parker would have written. So many characters, hard to keep them all straight. Weak plot and very predictable. I have liked the previous books but not this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ace Atkins continues to impress!!!

Loved the book and characters. Missed Hawk but Vinny made up for the absence. Joe Mantegna IS Spenser!!

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  • goldmoonstorm
  • 07-09-18

Not sure about this one..

So far ace atkins has done full justice to Parker’s hero but I feel this one doesn’t have enough whip or spark . Not enough is going on action wise to keep you gripped . I listened to it and was in no hurry to get back to it when I had to stop. Not a good sign. Liked it but not one of his best efforts.

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  • Mr. J. R. Semple
  • 05-11-18

Fantastic!

Heresy - But Ace Atkins dialogue matches Parker And plotting actually surpasses. Fantastically entertaining . Popular Literature doesn't get any better than this.I didn't think anyone could do justice to Robert B Parker's legacy.I was never happier to be proved wrong.Keep them coming!Please!