BLUE SCREEN (PI/Pol. Proc-Massachusetts/Los Angeles-Cont) – G+ Parker, Robert B. – 5th Sunny Randall

Putnam, 2006- US Hardcover – ISBN 0399153519

PI Sunny Randall is hired by movie producer Buddy Bollen to protect his live-in leading lady Erin Flint. Erin is a beautiful, B-movie actress Buddy plans to have play baseball with this minor league men’s team in order to promote her new movie. Erin’s assistant is murdered and Erin tries to convince Sunny it’s because “they” don’t want her on the baseball team. Sunny, working with Paradise, MA police chief Jesse Stone, soon finds that people are not who they say they are and the movie business is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

In many ways, this book is more about the definition of love than it is about the mystery. The mystery, although the weakest element of the book, is good, the bad guys are bad, the characters varied and interesting, the sense of place well defined and the dialogue crisp, concise and extremely well done. The thing I sensed most in this book, as in other recent books by Parker, is how very comfortable and confident he is with his writing. Parker knows his characters, whether they be the main character in this particularly series, ones he brings in as cameos from other series, or completely new. While I should like to see future books focus more on a logical mystery, I found myself interested in what Parker had to say about love. One thing of which I am certain, I always enjoy Parker’s writing and this was no exception. I would not, however, recommend someone who has not previously read Parker’s Sunny Randall or Jesse Stone books to start here, but start at the beginning of both series.

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