Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby by Ace Atkins

Robert B Parker died in 2010 having written 39 books featuring the popular private investigator Spenser. When I started reading this book, Ace Atkins didn’t read like the Ace Atkins I’m used to, and, although I’ve never read any of Robert B. Parker’s books, I’m reliably informed that this book looks a lot like a continuation of his Spenser series. So, this seems to be one of those rare occasions where an author has been able to successfully continue the work of another.


Spenser is in his office when a new client walks in. The client is 14 year old Mattie Sullivan. She’s a tough girl from a housing project in a not-to-salubrious part of Boston. Four years ago her mother was murdered – stabbed, raped, and run over by a car. Mattie believes that the man jailed for her mother’s murder is the wrong man. Earlier in the evening of her mother’s death, Mattie saw her mother forced into a car by two other men. Although she reported this to the police, no-one paid much attention to the word of a ten year old girl with a drug-addicted prostitute mother.

Spenser sees a lot of himself in Mattie – tough, persistent and willing to go to any lengths. He agrees to take on the case for the payment of one box of donuts.

Spenser starts to investigate together with his usual cronies – his partner Hawk, his girlfriend Susan, lawyer Rita as well as friends in the police force. Everyone’s scared and no-one’s talking and the FBI are busy trying to protect sources. But, eventually Spenser finds out the real story.


The book was great to read with short snappy chapters fired out one after another. I was completely pulled into the story and the atmosphere within the first few pages. My only real problem was that some of the speech was a bit colloquial and took me a while to work out. I’m looking forward to more Spenser books by Ace Atkins.


Book Published 2012


See a full list of books by Ace Atkins

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