Authors die but their characters live on. There has been a trend over the last few decades of other writers continuing to write books using already iconic characters. The most recent of these are Robert B. Parker’s leading men Spenser and Jesse Stone. The Parker estate selected to writers to assume the mantle. Michael Brandman will pen the Jesse Stone novels while Ace Atkins will write the Spenser novels beginning with Lullaby.
Readers become familiar with the growth of a character as he changes with each new adventure. Characters evolve and become people whose lives the reader shares book after book. When the author dies the character is frozen at that moment in his evolution. Prior to this trend, a reader’s only option was to re-read the older canon if they wanted to enjoy the world of the character.
Ace Atkins writes the Spenser Series by Robert B. Parker in a manner that shows he is trying to write in Parker’s style. Over all he succeeds but there are times when the dialogue seems forced and many of the supporting characters are not as fully developed as they had been under Parker.