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Hard for me to review this
on 18 January 2014
It's the last 'proper' Spenser novel by Robert Parker, and even then it had to be completed by his agent. I like the Ace Atkins continuations that I've read so far, but they bring a different perspective to bear on the character (to me, it seems Atkins is writing Spenser from an earlier point in his career).
So I can't judge this as a novel on its own merits, not least because it's hard to tell where Parker leaves off and his agent steps in (that's probably good). It's a sentimental attachment to the writer and his creations, and my overall feeling is one of rather melancholic enjoyment, in that we'll never again have Parker's Spenser.
As a Spenser novel, it fits in nicely to the overall development of the character from the perhaps trying a bit too hard to impress us with his sophistication Spenser that started out all those years ago, to the older, settled, mature and assured in his place and himself Spenser of the last books.
It's not a startling change to any of the characters; no hidden secrets come to light or shocking revelations that persons in the universe of the novel are different to what we thought they were: everyone is themselves and events play out as you'd expect.
As a 'goodbye', it's a nice note to go out on. As a Spenser novel - if you like the character, you'll like this. If you prefer his other creations (and let me state upfront: I don't like either Sunny Randall or Jesse Stone), then you can give this one a miss and not be at much of a loss, but it's Spenser, at least give him a try.