The Barnes & Noble Review
Robert B. Parker never fails to deliver highly charged plots and engaging characters in all of his bestselling mystery series. This fourth novel featuring bright, beautiful Boston P.I. Sunny Randall is another complex, captivating conundrum.
Contentious college student Sarah Markham has hired Sunny to delve into her family background, a task that proves daunting for the feisty detective, who soon finds that facts about Sarah's parents are surprisingly difficult and dangerous to pin down. Meanwhile, Sunny's life is complicated by the fact that she's facing a genuine personal crisis of her own. As her ex-husband -- a man she loved but couldn't live with -- makes plans to remarry, she can no longer deny her disastrously mixed feelings about relationships. But, even as she decides to confront her own chaotic emotions through therapy and personal experimentation, the passionate P.I. puts her life on the line to answer troubled Sarah's questions about where and how family and identity intersect…and who is willing to kill to conceal the truth. Sue Stone
The title refers to two characters: Boston college student Sarah Markham, convinced that her parents adopted her, and Boston PI Sunny Randall, hired by Sarah to certify her parentage. Sarah is melancholy because her parents refuse to take a DNA test to settle the issue and seem furtive; Sunny, because her ex-husband, Richie, has just remarried. In this excellent fourth Sunny Randall PI tale (after Shrink Rap), Sarah's sadness leads to murder, as Sunny's questioning of the parents results in one of their deaths at the hands of the person who would suffer most if the truth comes out. Sunny's own blues lead her to Dr. Susan Silverman and sessions on the couch that, however well observed, will have fans of Parker's PI Spenser who are terminally tired of Susan (Spenser's longtime girlfriend) gritting their teeth at her intrusion into another series. Still, Sunny's own regulars, particularly tough gay pal Spike, hold their own in the tale. There's little here that Parker hasn't done before, like his protagonist's side trip to New York and her tangling with venal lawyers and reptilian celebrities as well as Parker's sensitive exploration of the meaning of family and maturity and of the tension between self-reliance and love for another, but he does it so well here, with his impeccable prose and charismatic heroine, that fans will tremble with delight. Agent, Helen Brann. (Sept. 27) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Boston P.I. Sunny Randall is unhappy to learn that the ex-husband she still loves is getting married to someone else. Her life seemingly a mess, Sunny seeks the help of psychiatrist Susan Silverman. In between sessions that probe her relationship with her insufferable mother and beloved father, Sunny works on the case of Sarah Markham, a distraught 21-year-old woman who wants to track down her biological parents. The only trouble is that the couple who raised her claim she's theirs but refuse to take a DNA test to prove it. Sunny soon learns that Sarah's parents have lied about their past. The deeper she delves into their lives and her own mind, the more dangerous her situation becomes. But when things get too rough, she has her bull terrier Rosie to ground her and her gay friend Spike to defend her. In his fourth Sunny Randall novel (after Shrink Rap), Grand Master Parker, as always, leavens his story with sly wit while relying on dialog to advance the plot and develop character. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/04.] Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.