This is a cracker of a book, to be savoured for its plot (which appears complicated but is in fact simple) and for the craft that has gone into the writing. Though the cover states that it is by Robert B. Parker, the writer who first gave us Spenser, it is in fact by Ace Atkins (his second Spenser novel, with a third on the way), as Parker died in 2010. All the things we associate with Spenser are here – Pearl his dog (named after Parker's dog in real life), his wise cracks, the love-of-his-life Susan Silverman, his heart of gold and his commitment to decency and honesty. His sidekick Hawk does not make an appearance, though Zebulon Sixkill ('Z'), a native American, fills his shoes admirably.
However, there is another important 'character' in the Spenser novels, and this is the city of Boston itself. Parker was a Bostonian, but Atkins comes from Mississippi, and though I have never been to the city, his descriptions have the ring of authenticity, and he seems to have captured its essence. Wonderland itself actually exists in real life, and in a satisfying way the book comes full circle, with the plot being set in motion by 'Wonderland', and the satisfying denouement taking place within the shell of the old dog track.