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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Wonderland by Ace Atkins," who used a manuscript that remained unfinished when the late Robert Parker died
By Milt Gross
Oct 25, 2015 - 12:03:19 AM

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Wonderland by Ace Atkins, who used a manuscript started by the late Robert Parker, was typical of Parker's tales. This one, however, became somewhat complicated as the end drew near. At the end, Spencer, the hero of this Boston-based murder mystery, and his long-term girlfriend, Susan, were together. "'Together again,' Susan said." That's how the late Parker's books are supposed to end, Spencer, Susan, and Pearl, the dog. Milt Gross photo.
Years ago I fell asleep late at night while reading Carrie. When I awoke, I went down into the basement to check it out before going to bed. The residual fear I felt when I looked out the basement door at a light moving back and forth on the garden fence. That moving light so late at night, reflected from the indoor cellar light, let me know I had been reading a horror tale, one by Stephen King.

Wonderland is not by Stephen King but started by the late Robert Parker and completed by Ace Atkins after Parker's death. This mystery is about Henry Cimoli, a long-time friend of Parker's Boston detective Spenser, who fights a plan by the bad guys to turn a piece of land near Boston in a large gambling operation.

The plot is a typical Parker plot, started by him before his death, with lots of action and some humor. I won't go into it because the plots aren't Parker's strong points. Its all about following the action, as usual, wondering how our hero this time will win over the villains.

He does, of course, and ends up in the last scene with long-time girlfriend Susan. "'Together again,' Susan said." That's how the late Parker's books are supposed to end, Spencer, Susan, and Pearl, the dog.

Another great Parker tale, although he passed away before it was finished. But still a great Parker tale.

Parker wrote many books, too many for me to count.

If you like Boston detectives, grab this one. The book jacket lists it for $26.95, the price listed upon its original publication. The up-to-date price is $8.57 for the paperback, one cent and up for the hardback, $9.99 for the Kindle Edition, and $11.97 for an audio CD.

The latest publication of Wonderland is by G.P. Putnam's Sons, NY, 2013 G.P. Putnam's Sons, NY, 2013.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015

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