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Patriots player key to the new Spenser novel

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It’s just a coincidence, it seems, that the next book in the Spenser series is about the private eye’s investigation of illegal activity involving a New England Patriots player. That’s right, “Cheap Shot,” which comes out next spring, is about a bad-behaving Patriot. But we’re told that Ace Atkins, who took over the Spenser series after Robert B. Parker died, in 2010, researched the book last winter, long before former Pats tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder.

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