Thursday, March 4, 2010

Split Image by Robert B. Parker

This book is a quick read.

As they struggle to survive the wreckage of their failed marriages, Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone and PI Sunny Randall work on different cases.

Stone tries to find out who killed two local mob figures.  Randall looks for a "missing" young woman.  As always, both cases involve  a number of unsavory people.  They also involve some interesting characters, especially Sunny's weight-lifting, good-hearted gay friend Spike.

Stone's investigation leads him to identical twin sisters who married local mob bosses and now live in houses next to one another.  That's where the title Split Image comes in.  The two women still dress and think alike.  They still work together in almost everything they do.

And the story goes from there.

The book is filled with the same kind of pithy dialogue Parker is famous for.  That makes it quick reading, but the dialogue is overdone.  It has become almost an affectation.

I guess the early Parker spoils me.  I don't regret having bought or read this book.  But it didn't seem to compare to the early Parker books I've been reading again.  Those early books are more rich in detail. 

I found the story thin here too, but still, this was an excellent book to read in just a few hours.  It gave me one more episode in the lives of people I had come to know before.   And it was among the last few books a great mystery writer wrote.  That, in itself, made this good, but not great, book worth reading.

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