Routinely hailed (along with such masters as Ross Macdonald) as one of the heirs apparent of Raymond Chandler, Robert B Parker sustained a truly impressive level of invention over a long career, his death in 2010 seemingly bringing to an end the classic tradition of the tough and sardonic private eye. But here is Parker’s gumshoe again, revivified in the talented hands of Ace Atkins, whose new Spenser novel has all the hallmarks of the original creator, with the detective encountering a mysterious and seductive woman (par for the course), a terrifying Las Vegas criminal and a plot involving some suspect land development. If the truth be told, even the great Parker’s invention was flagging a touch on some of his later books, but his new amanuensis/successor has conjured all the energy of his predecessor’s best work. What’s more, Atkins has added a quirky new perspective of his own. Welcome back, Spenser!
Robert B Parker’s Wonderland by Ace Atkins is published by No Exit Press