Sunday, 20 April 2014

Book Review: ROBERT B. PARKER'S WONDERLAND (The new Spenser Novel) BY ACE ATKINS

(The new Spenser novel)

Paperback:  190 pages
My Rating:  9 / 10

About the Book:

Henry Cimoli and Spenser have been friends for years, yet the old boxing trainer has never asked the private eye for a favor. Until now. A heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and plans to turn a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. Bitter rivals emerge, alliances turn, and the uglier pieces of the Boston political machine look to put an end to Spenser's investigation.
Aspiration, greed, and twisted dreams all focus on the old Wonderland dog track where the famous amusement park once fronted the ocean. For Spenser and Z, this simple favor to Henry will become the fight of their lives.

My Thoughts:

Wonderland is the first 'Spenser' novel I've read so I didn't know quite what to expect.  I was worried that it may be too 'heavy' and dull and full of references to past novels that I hadn't read......but to my surprise and delight, it was none of those.  I actually really enjoyed it.

I immediately liked Spenser, a wise-cracking intelligent thug who's dry humour made me laugh:

I got out of my car and met them halfway up the path.
'You Spenser?' said the bald guy.
'You come here to see Mr. Rose?'
The beefy guy eyed me.  He stuck his hands in his pockets and turned to his partner.  His mouth twitched a bit.  The bald guy just stared straight at me, not appraising as much as telegraphing unpleasantness.  'Mr. Rose doesn't know who the f**k you are.' Beefy said.
'I take it you are paraphrasing.'
'Well, surely a former Harvard professor would never say "f**k." 

Even though the above paragraph has bad language in it, there is not a great amount of swearing in the novel. 

The Wonderland in the story was an Amusement Park built around a hundred years ago, now it was an abandoned dog track in a prime location on the beach.  The story centres on building a Casino and making money, lots of it. 

A disused Amusement Park, similar to the one in the story called 'Wonderland'

Three organisations all wanted the casino licence and some were prepared to murder to get it.  The story was filled with double dealing, dodgy politicians, the mob, a beautiful mysterious woman,  memorable characters and our hero, Spenser, in the middle of it all! 

A great read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

About the Author:

A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, Ace Atkins published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30. In addition to numerous awards, Ace was selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the bestselling adventures of Boston's iconic private eye, Spenser.

Available to buy now from:

Source:  I received this book from RealReaders in exchange for an honest review.

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