Robert B. Parker
Putnam, Feb 23 2010, $25.95
Paradise, Massachusetts is not the place where one would expect major crimes, but like any town in America, they do happen here too. Sunny Randall, private investigator and sometimes lover of the Chief of Police Jesse Stone, comes to town at the behest of her clients. They want her to rescue their daughter Cheryl DeMarco from the cult Bond of Renewal who promotes peace and love. Cheryl refuses to leave, but soon afterward vanishes. Sunny needs to find her because she believes her parents kidnapped her and she is legally an adult.
At the same time, Jesse has a double homicide to investigate. Two allegedly retired gangsters (Reggie Galen and Knocko Moynihan) were married to identical twins (Becca and Robbie) and lived next door to one another inside gated communities Petrov Ognowski, a former foot soldier in Galen’s mob, was found dead in the trunk of his car. Galen’s brother-in-law Knocko was gunned down in what looked like a professional hit. Petrov’s irate father, a powerful mob boss, plans to find his son’s killer before the cops do; this adds pressure on Jesse to solve the case with evidence he can bring to the District Attorney.
This short concise mystery conjures up vivid images as Robert B. Parker provides a powerful thriller. Split Image brings together Sunny and Jesse once again (see High Profile, Shrink Rap and Family Honor) as they take their relationship one step further as each deals with the loss of their ex’s by talking to separate shrinks. Their respective subplot inquiries make for a powerful story line as she looks deep inside a dangerous cult and he looks deep inside a dangerous mob. Who needs Spenser when you have Sunny and Jesse?