cover image Robert B. Parker’s Payback: A Sunny Randall Novel

Robert B. Parker’s Payback: A Sunny Randall Novel

Mike Lupica. Putnam, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-08785-5

Set in a post-Covid near future, Edgar finalist Lupica’s twisty third entry in Parker’s Sunny Randall franchise (after 2020’s Grudge Match) faithfully captures the character of the Boston PI. Sunny’s best friend, Spike, has been cheated out of his restaurant by hedge fund hotshot Alex Drysdale, who offered him a financial lifeline during the pandemic, but the fine print essentially put the restaurateur in default right after he signed the loan papers. Sunny vows to restore Spike’s business, but her aggressive tactics result in a threatening visit from an unnamed man, followed by receipt of a photo of her father with a red dot superimposed on his forehead. She’s also occupied assisting a police detective friend, whose college student niece, Emily Barnes, has been assaulted, but isn’t fully forthcoming about the attack. To her surprise, Sunny finds a link between Alex and Emily, and the ante gets upped when someone involved in her inquiries is shot to death. Lupica makes smart-mouthed Sunny as fully realized as Parker’s better-known gumshoe, Spenser. Readers are sure to look forward to her next outing. [em]Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (May) [/em]