Robert B. Parker's books about Sunny Randall aren't my favorites among his writings, and this one makes me wonder if I'm finally burning out on his books.
The plot is one you may have heard of before: a serial killer disappears. Twenty years later, he appears to have returned. In this version, the original case was worked by Sunny's father, who's called in as a consultant on the new murders. Sunny offers to help.
Sunny figures out who the killer is very early on. It's just a matter of getting the evidence. So how do you fill up the rest of the book? Well, you can have a lot of stuff about Sunny and her ex-husband Richie, who's now remarried but who still loves Sunny, who still loves Richie. Sunny talks about all this with both Richie and her analyst, Susan Silverman, who never even mentions that the problem Sunny has ("I love him but I can't live with him") is exactly the same problem that Susan had with Spenser. In fact, the whole bit seems completely recycled, to me, right down to the dialog.
And speaking of recycling, as I was, there's Sunny, who has some discussions about her work with her pal Julie, like this one after Sunny has pulled a pistol on some rotters. Sunny says that anybody can carry a gun. "The trick is will you use it. I will." Julie says she's not sure she could, and Sunny tells her that most people don't know and will never have to decide. "I decided long before tonight."
"It's why you do what you do," Julie said.
I raised my eyebrows.
"Because you can," Julie said.
Haven't I read that same bit about ten times in novels about Spenser? Maybe not, but it sure seems like it.
Meanwhile Sunny learns about herself and analyzes her whole family, including her sister's new fiance. It gets a little tiresome. Still, I'll bet that if Parker publishes another one about Sunny, I'll read it. Maybe.