I’m now tearing through the latest Spenser, Someone to Watch Over Me. Pondering the plot, I decided the appeal of both Spenser and Reacher is pretty simple. They find bad guys, fight them, and win. As simple as it sounds, the formula is compelling, and I find myself turning the pages eagerly.
But the books have more going for them than a formula. They’re both written with great style, even though the authors have changed and are changing. Since the death of Robert B. Parker, Ace Atkins has continued the Spenser series without missing a beat. Lee Child is still around, but his latest, The Sentinel, was co-written with his younger brother, Andrew Child, who will be taking over the series.
Some people look down their noses at thrillers and mysteries, but these books can rise above the genre when they’re well-crafted and when the characters jump off the page to take on a life of their own.
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