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Spare Change by Robert B Parker
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Spare Change (edition 2008)

by Robert B Parker

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5681917,472 (3.52)7
Member:Randal37
Title:Spare Change
Authors:Robert B Parker
Info:No Exit Press (2008), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Spare Change by Robert B. Parker

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Don’t get me wrong. I really like Robert B. Parker novels, but I don’t like everything about them. Spare Change features Sunny Randall, a female private eye and one of Parker’s three favorite characters (hereinafter referred to as “the troika”) who often cross one another’s paths in solving crimes in and around Boston. Sunny is the sometime (in this book, former) girlfriend of Jesse Stone, a second member of the troika. Sunny’s psychoanalyst is Dr. Susan Silverman, who is the girlfriend of Spenser, the mono-named private eye who is Parker’s most famous character and the third member of the troika.

Parker’s novels frequently feature conversations between the main crime solvers and their shrinks, which may just be a sly trope to explain the characters’ motivations. On the other hand, he seems to have a strong affection for psychoanalysts, if not for the process of psychoanalysis. In this book, Sunny Randall gives a great deal of credit to Dr. Silverman’s insight for helping her to understand herself and for helping to solve a series of murders. And yet, in the actual conversations, Silverman just seems to nod, grunt, or otherwise tacitly agree with Randall.

Silverman herself is my least favorite Parker character. She is too perfect (at least in Parker’s and Randall’s eyes). At one point Randall says:

"She was older than I, but it would be difficult to say just how one would know that. She was positively beautiful. Her body was graceful and strong. Even in her self-abnegating shrink mode, she reeked of womanhood. The force of her filled the room.”

Later, Randall suffuses:

"She seemed relaxed and focused. Her makeup was understated and flawless. Her hair was in place without any hint of hairspray. Her clothes fit her perfectly. They were expensive and subtle, suitable for psychotherapy. Appropriate. Like her. Always appropriate. Did she ever get a stomachache? Was she ever scared? Did she always know what was what?”

Pullease!

Parker’s novels are usually suspenseful, and always written in a taut, no nonsense style. All of his other crime novels that I have read feature witty repartee among the characters, a feature that provides a comedic riff to defuse the tension. But for some reason, Parker could not seem to work his usual verbal scintillation into this novel.

If this had been the first Parker novel I had read (it was one of the last he wrote), I doubt that I would have read 20 more. But it wasn’t, and I still think he is pretty darn good. Incidentally, even though he waxes a bit too eloquently about Dr. Silverman and isn’t up to his unusually high standard of snark, Parker’s Spare Change is still a pretty entertaining detective novel.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Nov 7, 2014 |
Odd book...Sunny finds the bad guy within the first 10% of the book and then spends the rest of the book trying to prove it...not good/not bad...just different.

Same great characters minus Richie & Jesse.

None of the Sunny Randall books are great but they are what they are and there are times when I don't want anything more than a fast read with great characters that is impossible to be around.

Robert B. Parker will be missed - he's one of the greats. ( )
  ferrisscottr | Jun 18, 2013 |
Sunny's back and this time she's working with her father to solve a serial killer case. We know the answer to who the killer is quite early in the book, so the tension comes from the search for enough evidence to arrest him and from Sunny's therapeutic quest for answers to her relationship problems. This time it's all about fathers and children in both the case and therapy. Another enjoyable outing although I'm pretty ready for Sunny's relationship with her ex-husband Richie to be resolved one way or the other. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
My first Sunny Randall book, but the sixth in the series. Sunny knows Jesse Stone and a lot of police from the Spenser series show up. It's more a procedural story than a mystery and was what I was in the mood for---easy reading. ( )
  raizel | Oct 24, 2011 |
I'd read a hard copy of this book, when it first came out, but picked this up at my favorite Franklin NC Independent BookStore, BooKs Unlimited, to keep us entertained for the ride back to Charleston. Robert B Parker didn't disappoint, and neither did the reader, Kate Burton. It was the first Sunny Randall story that my husband had encountered, and he chuckled a lot when he stumbled into familiar characters from the Spencer series. ( )
  bookczuk | May 10, 2011 |
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Robert B. Parkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burton, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Joan: once in a lifetime
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I sat with my father at the kitchen table and looked at the old crime-scene photographs.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399154256, Hardcover)

Boston P.I. Sunny Randall joins forces with the most important man in her life-her father-to crack a thirty-year-old case.

Hi Phil, You miss me? I got bored, so I thought I'd reestablish our relationship. Give us both something to do in our later years. Stay tuned. Spare Change

When a serial murderer dubbed "The Spare Change Killer" by the Boston press surfaces after three decades in hiding, the police immediately seek out the cop, now retired, who headed the original task force: Phil Randall. As a sharp-eyed investigator and a doting parent ("You're smart. You're tough. You, too, are a paradigm of law enforcement perfection, and you're my kid"), Phil calls on his daughter, Sunny, to help catch the criminal who eluded him so many years before.

Sunny is certain that she's found her man after interviewing just a handful of suspects. Though she has no evidence against Bob Johnson, she trusts her intuition. And she knows the power she has over him-she can feel the skittishness and sexual tension that he radiates when he's around her-but persuading her father and the rest of the task force is a different story.

When the killer strikes a second and third time, the murders take a macabre turn, as the victims each eerily resemble Sunny. While her father pressures her to drop the case, Sunny's need to create a trap to nab her killer grows.

In a compelling game of cat-and-mouse, Sunny uses all her skills to draw out her prey, realizing too late that she's setting herself up to become the next victim.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"When a serial murderer dubbed "The Spare Change Killer" by the Boston press surfaces after three decades in hiding, the police immediately seek out the cop, now retired, who headed the original task force: Phil Randall. As a sharp-eyed investigator and a doting parent ("You're smart. You're tough. You, too, are a paradigm of law enforcement perfection, and you're my kid"), Phil calls on his daughter, Sunny, to help catch the criminal who eluded him so many years before.""After interviewing just a handful of suspects, Sunny is certain that she's found her man. Though she has no evidence against Bob Johnson, she trusts her intuition. And she knows the power she has over him - she can feel the skittishness and sexual tension that he radiates when he's around her - but persuading her father and the rest of the task force is a different story. When the killer strikes a second and third time, the murders take a macabre turn, as the victims each eerily resemble Sunny. While her father pressures her to drop the case, Sunny's need to create a trap to nab her killer grows. In a compelling game of cat-and-mouse, Sunny uses all her skills to draw out her prey, realizing too late that she's setting herself up to become the next victim."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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