Boston P.I Sunny Randall as conflicted as she is beautiful helps a troubled young woman locate her birth parents only to uncover some dark truths of her own The fourth novel in the bestselling series featuring Sunny Randall who now faces the unthinkable the marriage of her ex husband, Richie, to someone else Despite the formality of divorce, Sunny and Richie s relationship had continued, in its own headstrong way, until Richie s desire for marriage overtook Sunny s need for freedom So when college student Sarah Markham comes asking for help in finding her birth parents, Sunny realizes she must take the case, if only to distract her from her personal life But life and work have a curious and dangerous way of intersecting Before the investigation has a chance to take off, two key players are dead, and Sunny is back on a psychiatrist s couch, probing her own past for clues What she discovers has the potential to shatter Sarah Markham s family and destroy her sense of self, while Sunny s own beliefs are put to the ultimate test Emotionally complex and rich with insight, this is the Grand Master at his storytelling best....
|Title||:||Melancholy Baby (A Sunny Randall Novel)|
|Publisher||:||No Exit Press 28 Februar 2014|
|Number of Pages||:||501 Pages|
|File Size||:||669 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Melancholy Baby (A Sunny Randall Novel) Reviews
Who are you? How do you know who you are?Robert B. Parker takes a fresh look at both questions in this wry and ironical novel.PI Sunny Randall finds the ground swept out from under her feet when her ex-husband, Richie, announces he will remarry. Sunny cannot live with or without Richie, and she finds herself needing to find out what her true motivations are. Why cannot she be married to the man she loves?At the same time, Sunny takes on a new client, Sarah Markham, a troubled young woman who wants to know who her birth parents are. Sunny doesn't much like the client, but sympathizes with her troubled self-image while being something of a role model to Sarah.Sunny soon decides that there's something wrong in the Markham family. Neither parent will submit to DNA testing, and their reasons don't make much sense. The "parents" are vague about everything else. What are they hiding? Matters quickly become more dangerous when Sarah and her boyfriend are roughed up, and the same goons come looking for Sunny. But did they count on Spike?While the case proceeds, Sunny starts twice-a-week therapy sessions with a new therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, who will fascinate you in her cool professional role.The mystery in this book isn't really much of a mystery. It's more of an investigative procedural.The developing identity story is a fascinating one, and the book is riveting when Mr. Parker turns his attention into that arena.The book's major flaw is that Mr. Parker cannot quite take himself seriously. He puts little jokes into the book that distract from the story and take you away from being inside story with the characters. A good example is having Sunny endlessly fantasizing about what kind of a Harvard professor Susan hangs out with. Really!As usual, the dialogue sparkles like perfectly polished diamonds do on a sunny day. The therapy session dialogues are quite remarkable.
Rolling around in my head is the notion of what a Tom Clancy novel would be like if Robert B. Parker wrote it, because reading this latest Sunny Randall novel reminded me that Parker is the most economical story teller that I read on a regular basis. This is a quote from "The Washington Post Book World" on the front flap that says "Parker can reveal more about a character in five words of dialogue than many writers can in an entire book." "Melancholy Baby" is 296-pages long and has 64 chapters, and since the lines are spaced 1-1/2 lines it is easy reading on the eyes as well.This fourth Sunny Randall novel begins with our heroine in a very bad move because Ritchie, her ex-husband, is getting married to a woman that Sunny wants to kill and getting a much pleasure out of the idea before she finally has to let go of it. Sunny knows that she does not want to be married and apparently while she can live with Rosie, her bull terrier, she cannot live with anybody else but her dog. Two things end up helping Sunny get out of her funk. First, she gets a new client, Sarah Markham, a college student who has become convinced that her parents are not her biological parents. Her parents insist they are really her parents, but refuse to take DNA tests to prove it. Sarah is living off a trust fund so she has the cash to push the effort. Anybody who has read one of Parker's novels knows that the modus operandi is for Sunny to go around and ask questions to see what shakes loose, because something always does sooner or later and there are usually dead bodies involved.The other thing that helps Sunny get her head straight is going to see a shrink, and not just any shrink but Susan Silverman (who else?). Part of the humor of their sessions is to see Spenser's lady love through the eyes of a different character (and a female one as well). The other part is that Susan does unto Sunny as Sunny does to the people she questions throughout the novel. The big difference is that Susan elicits Sunny's self-analysis more through a series of pupil dilations and slight head movements than actual verbal sentences. One of the nice things about this novel is that Sunny makes as much progress in the sessions with Susan as she does out on the streets with Sarah's case. Figuring out whodunit in this one is not that hard, but proving it and, more importantly, doing something about it is what is more important in a Parker novel.Long time readers of those novels will recognize the return to one of Parker's stronger themes, that of helping a child to grow up (which goes all the way back to "God Save the Child"). The difference when the mentor is Sunny instead of Spenser is that she is still trying to get a handle on being an adult, but she certainly uses that to her advantage in dealing with Sarah. What will be familiar to readers is the key to such persuasion, which is giving the kid the information and letting them make an informed choice without being judgmental. It would be interesting to see what one of Parker's characters would do raising a kid from the start instead of having to intervene during the tumultuous teenage years, but I do not see that really being a future Parker novel.
Since he had found a good thing, Parker could have gone on writing just Spenser books. However, he produced three more series: the Sunny Randalls, the Jesse Stones, and the Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns. Each one of these creates a slightly different narrator. Spenser is an heir of Archie Goodwin's sarcastic wit. Jesse Stone is less outgoing and viewed by an impersonal narrator. Everett Hitch views the Parker hero from the outside, allowing Parker to blur the line between macho hero and psychopath. Sunny Randall is Parker's stab at a strong female narrator. Randall is capable, intelligent, fun, but less macho (thankfully) than any of Parker's other heroes. She's not afraid to ask for help when she needs it (as does Spenser, but he never fully admits he needs help; he would press on with or without). Melancholy Baby is an interesting twist on the dysfunctional family at the heart of so many Parker stories. Sunny Randall's client is convinced that the people claiming to be her birth parents are lying. The client is, to say the least, an unreliable witness, but Sunny is convinced that something is wrong in that family. At least three people die before the truth comes out. The conclusion actually solves very little, in the sense that all is blue skies ahead. One finds the truth but takes no satisfaction in it. In the meantime, Sunny is forced to confront her own family issues.
Robert B. Parker's 'middle' books should be required reading in high school. The novels he wrote in his early years are a little simplistic. The later year novels are somewhat repetitive and simple. The philosophy which Parker professed in his 'middle' twenty years of writing is a guide to how to live a strong, good and happy life. Parker does not preach; he tells fables with guidelines for real life. There are 'good' bad guys and 'bad' good guys and the tell between the two is an honest moral value. If people around the world adopted Parker's books as their bible the world would be a better place to live.Also, this book has a unique plot, outstanding characters, fast-paced story and thoughts to live by.
Robert Parker's Sunny Randall novels are all pretty similar, but I love 'em. I don't know if it's the Boston settings, or the feisty nature of the PI detective, but she always shows a human side, and the bad guys, or gals, get their just deserts. It's all about settling down for an evening of pleasant entertainment and a certain predictability that I am comfortable with. Sometimes she gets a little too wrapped up in the "shrink" aspects of the story, but then, who's perfect. I read them all, and will probably go back and revisit them when I need some comfortable story-telling to ease my mind.
I have to admit I have not cared too much for Robert Parker's Sunny Randall novels because she seemed like a female version of Spenser. This offering is an exception and is the first of this series that I have enjoyed. Here Parker finally gives Sunny a personality and character of her own. I read a comment in a Washington Post Book Review of this novel that said Parker can tell you more about a character in a few sentences of dialogue than any other author. And that is certainly true here. This fast paced novel built on the clipped dialogue Parker is known for is masterful in characterization and storytelling.Two stories run through this novel. Sunny's ex-husband Richie gets married which throws her into a pique of melancholy (thus the title) because she loves her ex-husband, but she finds she can't be married to him or live with him. As a result she sees a shrink - none other than our own Susan Silverman of Spenser fame. At the same time Sunny is on a very odd case. An obviously dysfunctional 19 year old, Sarah Markham, hires Sunny to find out who her real parents are. The catch is - her current parents insist she is their natural child. As Sunny starts digging into the matter nefarious characters assault Sarah and threaten Sunny so she'll drop the case.Both story lines play themselves out side by side as we learn what really make Sunny tick. This is an excellent mystery novel as well as excellent in establishing Sunny as a character in her own right apart from the Spenser cannon that so many Parker fans will inevitably compare it to.Parker fans should certainly enjoy this novel.
Sunny Randall goes for the underdog again. Not a bad thing but she doesn't get paid enough for this crap. Anyway Sunny is hired to learn the real past of a very troubled young woman. Her parents are not forth coming in the most simple information. After she hires Sunny she's attacked and told to let it drop. Sunny is also confronted about letting the matter drop, with a much different outcome. Now Sunny is going to uncover what's going on, no matter what. A few twists and turns but you figure out who the bad guys are pretty quick. They should make a movie about Sunny Randall the way they did about Jessie Stone.