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ROBERT B. PARKER'S SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME by Ace Atkins

Ace Atkins' ninth Spenser continuation novel was originally scheduled to be published November 17, but printing and distribution issues have delayed it to January 12, 2021. Fortunately, Putnam Books' publicist Nicole Biton sent me an advance ebook to review.

Book design by
Katy Riegel
Mattie Sullivan, introduced as the young client in Atkins' 2012 first Spenser (Robert B. Parker's Lullaby), returns as a 22-year-old apprentice, taking the case of 15-year-old Chloe Turner, molested by a much older man at Boston's posh Blackstone gentlemen's club. Mattie's investigation leads to hedge fund billionaire Peter Steiner, his British socialite companion Patricia "Poppy" Palmer, and their perverse, private pleasure island in the Bahamas.

Steiner and Palmer are inspired by notorious sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and his companion Ghislane Maxwell. Atkins has Mattie drive the investigation knowing she would better empathize with the couple's victims, who in turn would open up more to Mattie than to Spenser.

Reminding me of James Bond adversaries, Steiner and Palmer employ one of the most chilling enemies Parker created for Spenser, Ruger the Gray Man, warranting Hawk's return from two books' absence. Like me, however, Atkins is a true Bond fan, respectfully homaging Doctor No with the case's Caribbean showdown.

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