Jack McGee is a Boston firefighter. He is sure the fire in an Old Catholic church a year ago that killed three firefighters was arson, but they can’t prove it wasn’t either. McGee is sure that the church fire was arson. He is also sure the recent fires around town are the work of the same arsonist.slow burn


While McGee wants Spenser to investigate and is willing to pay for the work, he wants and needs Spenser to do so quietly. Stepping outside of the Boston Fire Department could cost him everything including his job and his pension. In the twilight of his career, McGee can’t afford to make a wave with so much at stake. He just wants answers. Spenser agrees to take the case. But, keeping the investigation quiet soon proves impossible in Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn: A Spenser Novel by Ace Atkins.


This fifth book in the Spenser series since Ace Atkins took over is not a mystery at all. Readers know from the start the identities of the arsonists and their motivation. While Spenser has a mystery on his hands, readers do not.


What readers have is a basic thriller style novel as Spenser chases arsonists. It isn’t surprising the arsonists get wind of Spenser’s involvement and retaliate. That isn’t the only predictable thing that happens in this fairly predictable thriller.


While Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn: A Spenser Novel is not a mystery at all and has very little suspense, it is a fairly enjoyable albeit predictable thriller style novel from start to finish. The days pass, Spenser investigates a bit /cooks a bit /seduces the lovely Susan a bit (not always in that order), Pearl hangs out, as does Hawk and Sixkill, as well as many of the other usual regulars. Violence occasionally ensues and there is often snarky dialogue between various characters. In short, a typical Spenser novel in a thriller read. All in all, a pleasant read that breaks no new ground and allows one to escape reality for as long as your reading speed dictates.


Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn: A Spenser Novel

Ace Atkins


  1. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House)


ISBN# 978-0-399-17085-0

Hardback (also available in eBook and audio formats)

310 Pages




Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.




Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

Be Sociable, Share!