Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Dillon Yates thought a fake Twitter account making fun of the Blackburn High School assistant principal would be fun. Little did he realize that, thanks to his prank, he'd be sentenced to significant time at a privately owned juvenile-detention facility in Boston Harbor. Boston PI Spenser is hired to look into a series of similar draconian sentences meted out by Blackburn's no-mercy juvenile judge Joe Scali. His first stop is the corporate office of the private prison facility. Posing as a concerned parent whose son may be sentenced to Boston Harbor, he's assured that his son will receive counseling, an excellent education, discipline, and direction. Author Atkins, a worthy successor chosen by the late Parker's estate to continue the series, occasionally shifts the point of view to the prisoner, Dillon Yates. Clearly that public-relations spiel Spenser was handed is nonsense. The kids are poorly treated and often abused. Spenser is also told to stop asking questions . . . or else. Ha! This is Spenser, who eschews the advice of the local cops and returns with his longtime sidekick Hawk to cover his back. No contest. Atkins does a wonderful job with the characters created by Parker. To loyalists it may be heresy, but a case can be made for the Atkins novels being better than some of the last Spenser mysteries penned by Parker. A top-notch thriller.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2015 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A topical plot line propels bestseller Atkins's engrossing fourth Spenser novel (after 2014's Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot). Sheila Yates, a resident of Blackburn, Mass., turns to the Boston PI for help when her teenage son, Dillon, is arrested and charged with terrorism after setting up a fake Twitter account for his high school vice principal. In Blackburn's juvenile court system, the accused are routinely denied the right to counsel. Judge Scali, the "Zero Tolerance for Minors guy," sentences Dillon to Fortune Island, a boot camp supposedly designed to rehabilitate offenders. In Blackburn, Spencer receives a less than warm welcome and quickly learns the extent of the problem. Atkins builds tension by alternating Spenser's wry first-person narration with third-person sections recounting the horrific conditions on Fortune Island. Lending support are Spenser's wingman, the deadly Hawk, and his soul mate, psychiatrist Susan Silverman. Once again, Atkins has done a splendid job of capturing the voice of the late Robert B. Parker. Author tour. Agent: Helen Brann, Helen Brann Agency. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Spenser heads back to the Boston suburbs to help a mother whose son has been arrested forwait for itsetting up a fake Twitter account. When you're the sort of kid who steps out of line in Blackburn, Judge Joe Scali knows what to do with you. Just ask Jake Cotner, who got nine months at the barbaric juvenile camp on Fortune Island for breaking windows in an old warehouse, or Ryan Bell, who did six months for throwing a steak at his crazy stepmother. But Sheila Yates, whose son Dillon has just drawn nine months for "stalking and terrorism" after posting humiliating tweets on an account he set up in the name of Blackburn High Vice Principal Luke Waters, isn't about to take Dillon's sentence lying down. She hires Spenser, who assures her, "I would've paid you to take this on," and he goes into overdrive. So does the hanging juvie judge, along with his patron, district judge Gavin Callahan, every cop in Blackburn, andonce Spenser, as foretold by the imprudently spoiler title, has tied the rash of imprisoned kids to a for-profit corporation working hand in hand with the moba bunch of hard cases who clearly aren't impressed by Spenser's resume (Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot, 2014, etc.). Interpolated scenes at Fortune Island don't intensify the suspense but simply break up the momentum. The ritualistic series of face-offs will be red meat for franchise fans, and it's great to see Spenser tackle a social evil with its roots in real life, even though his rescue of Dillon predictably fails to put much of a dent in even little Blackburn's prison-for-profit scheme. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.