High Profile

Robert B. Parker, Author
Robert B. Parker, Author . Putnam $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-15404-1
Reviewed on: 12/04/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007

The murder of Walton Weeks, a Rush Limbaugh–like political commentator in sleepy Paradise, Mass., drives the action of bestseller Parker's competent whodunit, a sequel of sorts to Blue Screen (2006), which first paired two of the authors' non-Parker series characters—Jess Stone, an ex-LAPD detective trying to resurrect his career as Paradise's police chief, and PI Sunny Randall—with predictable romantic results. After a stalker sexually assaults Stone's ex-wife, Jenn, Stone asks Randall to serve as Jenn's bodyguard. Stone finds himself under atypical media and political scrutiny, especially after Weeks's pregnant mistress is also found dead in Paradise. Both Stone and Randall are still weighed down with significant emotional baggage from their exes, and it's Parker's exploration of their ambivalent relationship that is this book's strength. The plot, however, is much less developed than Jane Haddam's Hardscrabble Road (2006), which likewise featured the murder of a right-wing radio commentator. (Feb.)

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