Saturday, September 16, 2023

Finished: Robert B. Parker's 'Bye Bye Baby'

 This is a continuation of the late RBP's Spenser series but written by Ace Atkins, chosen by Parker's estate to do so. This is Atkins' tenth and he does a really good job of keeping the characters and dialogue in sync with the original author. There are only subtle differences a long-time reader of the series would notice.

Carolina Garcia-Ramirez is a rising star in national politics, taking on the establishment with her progressive agenda. Tough, outspoken, and driven, the young congresswoman has ignited a new conversation in Boston about race, poverty, health care, and the environment. Now facing her second campaign, she finds herself not only fighting a tight primary with an old guard challenger but also contending with numerous death threats coming from hundreds of suspects.

When her chief of staff reaches out to Spenser for security and help finding the culprits of what he believes to be the most credible threats, Garcia-Ramirez is less than thrilled. Since her first grassroots run, she’s used to the antipathy and intimidation women of color often face when seeking power. To her, it’s all noise. But it turns out an FBI agent disagrees, warning Spenser that Garcia-Ramirez might be in real danger this time.

Some of the clever, thought-provoking lines I marked-up, as I tend to do, include:

"With age comes wisdom, but for some age comes alone."

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." (He likes to drop Shakespeare quotes on occasion.)

And, a reporter explaining why he doesn't read the comments posted below stories he's written:

"Sometimes people get up in the morning, take a shower, grab a cup of coffee, and head to an office. Other people get up out of their cages and start screwing with people. You know what? I think most of them are just lonely and sad."

Amazonians give it a 4.4 of 5; Goodreaders a 4.1; and the Haugenometer a 7 of 10.

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