When I first heard that Ace Atkins would be taking over the Spenser series after Robert B. Parker's demise I was very happy. Not only would that mean I wouldn't have to miss my favorite PI but I knew the series would be in good hands, Ace being a big favorite writer of mine.
Still, it took quite some time before I got around to reading Ace's Spenser books. Why? Not sure. Maybe there was some fear of disappointment? Well, that fear was unfounded.
It is almost creepy how well Atkins writes in Robert's style. It is almost if he is channeling the writer from beyond.
Atkins makes a very smart choice in making his first Spenser novel all about protecting a young teen, bringing back memories of the best Spenser books of the past with Paul Giacomin. That, and the return of favorites like Vinnie Morris, Broz, Hawk, Rita Fiore, Susan, etc make this a solid and true Spenser read.
Atkins also does a good trick of placing Spenser in the modern world, but still making him the original, old fashioned hero we know. He might use a cellphone but only to make phone calls for instance.
One of the best Spenser novel in the past few years. Amazing, right?
Just a sidenote that Robert B. Parker was one of my biggest influences as well, you can see that in my currently free Noah Milano novelette that you can get here.