cover image Robert B. Parker’s Bye Bye Baby

Robert B. Parker’s Bye Bye Baby

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-32851-4

In Atkins’s routine 10th continuation of Parker’s Spenser series (after 2021’s Someone to Watch over Me), the Boston PI takes on a client with certain similarities to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Massachusetts congresswoman Carolina Garcia-Ramirez, generally referred to by just her initials, supports a progressive agenda: “Free college and health care for all, a living and respectable minimum wage, a green Boston with zero carbon emissions, a massive restructuring of law enforcement.” After the politician is splattered with urine by a Southerner off his meds, members of CGR’s staff consult Spenser. They fear that the attack indicates that the threats against her are rising to a more dangerous level, a concern seemingly validated after her offices in Boston are broken into and vandalized. Spenser suspects that someone on the inside is sharing details of CGR’s schedule and placing her in the crosshairs of a group of white supremacists calling themselves the Minutemen. Spenser banters with his significant other, makes wisecracks, and displays unexpected erudition, but there aren’t any genuine plot surprises, and the end result feels stale. Atkins seems just to be going through the motions. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (Jan.)