The continuing chronicle of Wesley's quest to be published; plus comments on popular culture, family life, and whatever else falls out of his head.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Meloncholy Baby

Robert Parker is not only one of my favorite authors, he's one of idols, but only with one of his recurring characters, Sunny Randall.Like Parker's most famous PI, Spencer, Randall operates out of Boston MA. Unlike Spencer, she's a woman, and also unlike Spencer, she relies much more on her friends and family.Her ex-husband is finally getting married, even though they never stopped loving each other. Sunny is so upset about this, and she is so confused about the realization that she doesn't understand why she seems unable to live with other people, that she decides to visit a psychiatrist on a regular basis. She also picks up a new case, about a college-age woman who believes she is adopted but whose parents won't admit to it.The main plot--the young woman--moves along briskly with Parker's usual flair for dialogue and quick, sharp characterization. But it's the style of his writing that really pulls the reader along. The plot, while fine, does seem a little looser than his usual efforts.The thing that struck me the most about the book, however, is how open-ended it is. While the mystery of the young girl's parentage is 'solved,' no arrest is made at the end of the book. It's impending, but it hasn't happened yet. And Sunny has an ephiphany about herself and her family that is a milestone, but not the finish line.While 'Melancholy Baby' is a solid story with typically snappy Parker writing, I can't shake the feeling that this story--either elements of it--isn't over yet.

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