cover image Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot

Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-16158-2

In Atkins’s assured third Spenser novel (after 2013’s Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland), New England Patriots linebacker Kinjo Heywood, who suspects he’s being followed, hires PI Spenser to look into the perceived threats. Someone may be unhappy that Heywood, who was implicated in a shooting at a Manhattan nightclub, emerged from the investigation with only a weapons violation. The star’s reputation as a dirty player also could be behind the harassment, with opposing teams potentially seeking to rattle him just as the season gets underway. When Heywood’s seven-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, Spenser works frantically to bring Akira back safely, despite sometimes working at cross-purposes from the boy’s father. Because the “old Italian and Irish crews” that Spenser used to know are no more, he has to turn to new underworld sources for information. Atkins’s gift for mimicking the late Robert B. Parker could lead to a long run, to the delight of Spenser devotees. [em]Agent: Helen Brann, Helen Brann Agency. (May) [/em]