Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Boston PI Spenser faces a hot case and a personal crisis in this adventure in Ace Atkins' iconic New York Times bestselling series.

The fire at a boarded-up Catholic church raged hot and fast, lighting up Boston's South End and killing three firefighters who were trapped in the inferno. A year later, as the city prepares to honor their sacrifice, there are still no answers about how the deadly fire started. Most at the department believe it was just a simple accident: faulty wiring in a century-old building. But Boston firefighter Jack McGee, who lost his best friend in the blaze, suspects arson.

McGee is convinced department investigators aren't sufficiently connected to the city's lowlifes to get a handle on who's behind the blaze--so he takes the case to Spenser. Spenser quickly learns not only that McGee might be right, but that the fire might be linked to a rash of new arsons, spreading through the city, burning faster and hotter every night. Spenser follows the trail of fires to Boston's underworld, bringing him, his trusted ally Hawk, and his apprentice Sixkill toe-to-toe with a dangerous new enemy who wants Spenser dead, and doesn't play by the city's old rules. Spenser has to find the firebug before he kills again--and stay alive himself.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2016
ISBN: 9780399170850
Branch Call Number: M PAR
Characteristics: 304 p. :,map ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Parker, Robert B. 1932-2010
Alternative Title: Slow burn


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 17, 2016

Ace Atkins is not Robert B. Parker, but he does a credible job of carrying forward Parker's characters and keeping fans interested. The plot in this one is interesting and kept me engaged.

Sep 28, 2016

If you’re a long-time Spenser fan, ignore this review; you know what you’re getting and no doubt that’s what you want. I’d never read a Spenser mystery nor seen the TV show based on the books, so this was new to me. But not very new, since it followed a familiar formula. Spenser is a tough guy Boston P.I. with a rockin’ bod, hot girlfriend (Susan), a loyal dog (Pearl), and two tough guy sidekicks (Hawk and Z) with equally hard bodies and the skill sets to match. Together they take on a trio of wannabe firefighters who resort to arson to get their flame fix. Spenser and gang win every fight with ease, fearlessly rip off the local Mafioso and his entire gang, and donate his drug money to an orphanage. Unsurprisingly, he identifies the arsonists when the entire Boston Arson Squad and Police Homicide Unit can’t.

Ace Atkins, the author, was chosen by the Parker family to continue the long-running Spenser series originated by the late Robert B. Parker. I have no quibble with the formula. It obviously works for many, but I can’t say it made me want to read more. Spenser has a certain style, with plenty of wisecracks and constant restaurant hopping. He must be made of money since no one ever pays him and he lives a luxurious lifestyle. Ah the glorious life of a P.I.! Right – I was one briefly after I retired from the FBI.

One tidbit I found interesting: the plot mentions real-life reporter and author Hank Philippi Ryan. I read and reviewed her book The Wrong Girl (2 stars) a couple of years ago. Atkins and Ryan share one rather obnoxious stylistic trait: they constantly describe every character’s attire, with special emphasis on designer names. Now I’ve seen that in several chick lit mysteries written by women, but this is the first time I’ve seen it from a male writer. Yet here it is not only from a male author but with a testosterone-laden male protagonist. It wouldn’t have surprised me if it had come from a gay author with a gay leading man, but what the hey, I think the Spenser series is intended to appeal to women, not men. Baryshnikov had a rockin’ bod, too, and women loved him. If only he could have reciprocated.

The book had enough style to keep me reading to the end, but no suspense and nothing to make me pick up another Spenser. By the way, the full title is Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn, a Spenser Novel in case you have any trouble finding it under the name Slow Burn. My library had it alphabetized under Atkins, not Parker.

akasq Jun 16, 2016

Ace Atkins tries hear to bring back an aging spencer,
adding many old characters & name. It's O K for a fast read.
but just OK.

Jun 13, 2016

Spenser lives tks to Ace Atkins

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PMPL

To Top