Monday 30 April 2018

Robert B Parker's Little White Lies by Ace Atkins

Robert B. Parker was renowned for his Spenser novels, featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye, which earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim. He also launched two other bestselling series featuring, respectively, Massachusetts police chief Jesse Stone and Boston private detective Sunny Randall. In addition, he authored four Westerns. Bob's bestselling Western novel Appaloosa was made into a major motion picture by New Line, starred Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, and was a box office hit in 2008. Long acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction, he was named Grand Master of the Edgar Awards in 2002 by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Ace Atkins is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist as well as an author and was selected by the estate of Robert B. Parker in 2011 to continue his legacy and to take over writing the Spenser series.

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About Little White Lies
Boston PI Spenser and right hand Hawk follow a con man's trail of smoke and mirrors in the latest entry of the iconic crime series.
Connie Kelly thought she'd found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the C.I.A. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser's card.

A self-proclaimed military hotshot, Welles had been a frequent guest on national news shows speaking with authority about politics and world events. But when he disappears, he leaves not only a jilted lover but a growing list of angry investors, duped cops, and a team of paramilitary contractors looking for revenge.

Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that everything about Welles is phony. His name, his resume, and his client list are nothing but an elaborate fraud. But uncovering the truth won't be easy, as he'll have to keep the mystery man alive long enough to get back his client's money. As the trail winds from Boston to backroads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles's next con is his last.

I think it is fair to say that Ace Atkins has been writing the Spencer series for such a long time, that although each book still gives a nod in the direction of Parker, and who could miss the mention on the books, that Atkins has well and truly made this character his.

In this 45th book Spencer is asked by his girlfriend to look into the disappearance of a boyfriend of a patient. Both he and a large amount of her money has vanished into thin air. Spencer is doing it as a favour, so is understandably annoyed when the person he is helping not only gets in the way, but is also determined to support her thief of a boyfriend.

Welles is an experienced con-man, and the reason he is so successful is the way he uses his charm, faith and talent at blagging to convince his victims. Even indisputable evidence doesn't keep him from trying his spiel out on any potential fly, who might veer near his web.

The character of Welles represents the modern day criminal, the type willing to use the vulnerabilities of his victims against them. A criminal so convincing that even when the crime can be proven the victims are still unwilling to place any blame on the perpetrator. Spencer finds himself caught up in this insidious crime, despite being asked to take a step back. Isn't he always asked to back off?

Ace Atkins was selected by Robert B. Parker's estate to carry on his Spencer series, and he does do both the author and the series justice. He captures the essence of Raymond Chandler's and Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Spenser is Sam Spade sans the 1930s feel of the dashingly smart and casual, but still as tough as old boots detective.

Buy Little White Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn by Ace Atkins

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