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Robert B. Parker's Grudge Match: A Sunny Randall Novel

Review

Robert B. Parker's Grudge Match: A Sunny Randall Novel

Although it took the powers-that-be some time to find a suitable author to continue Robert B. Parker’s Sunny Randall series following his unfortunate passing, they struck gold with Mike Lupica. BLOOD FEUD was a successful first outing for Lupica, and he takes the character to new heights in GRUDGE MATCH.

Sunny previously had enlisted the aid of Boston crime kingpin Tony Marcus in a quid pro quo arrangement that she later reneged upon. So it is somewhat surprising that Tony retains Sunny’s services as a private investigator at the start of GRUDGE MATCH.

"This new iteration of the series will appeal not only to its many fans, but also to those who are unfamiliar with Sunny Randall or have been away for a while. The magic that Lupica works on these mysteries will make a believer out of you."

Tony is at loose ends. Lisa Morneau, his professional and personal partner, has disappeared. He has reason to suspect that she has jumped the fence and gone over to Gabriel Jabari, an up-and-comer in the Boston-area crime hierarchy who has made no secret of the fact that he wants to overthrow Tony and take his place. Gabriel gleefully denies any knowledge of where Lisa might have gone, but this does little more than antagonize rather than reassure Tony.

Sunny uses her contacts in law enforcement, including a police chief of a certain Boston suburb who is very well-known to fans of Parker’s novels. Some interesting things happen in her personal life as well. Richie Burke, her ex-husband, finds himself with custody of his young son and broaches the idea of Sunny filling in for his ex-wife in a maternal role. She has mixed emotions about this, as she does for the sudden and unsettling attraction she develops for an enigmatic law enforcement officer who steadily has interjected himself into the hunt for Lisa.

Sunny eventually finds Lisa --- it might be more accurate to say that the reverse is true --- but the latter’s appearance is a puzzling one that causes more problems than it resolves. It seems that Lisa’s resurfacing and the aftermath are going to put Boston’s criminal organizations on the brink of war. Some twists, turns and unexpected alliances occur before the novel reaches its conclusion, but they may not be enough to save the city.

This new iteration of the series will appeal not only to its many fans, but also to those who are unfamiliar with Sunny Randall or have been away for a while. The magic that Lupica works on these mysteries will make a believer out of you.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on June 19, 2020

Robert B. Parker's Grudge Match: A Sunny Randall Novel
by Mike Lupica

  • Publication Date: May 5, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0525539328
  • ISBN-13: 9780525539322