Friday, May 11, 2012

Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker

Robert Parker is known for his "manly men," Spencer and his sidekick, Hawk and Jesse Stone. This series featuring female lead Sunny Randall is, in many ways, more interesting because of the gender role reversal and interplay between Sunny's personality and the other character's expectations of her.

As Blue Screen begins, we meet Erin Flint, a beautiful but talentless actress, famous for her "Woman Warrior" character. Her manager and boyfriend Buddy Boland not only owns the film company but also a baseball team. He decides to promote the team and Erin by having her play for the team. And while Erin is beautiful and athletic, she doesn't stand a chance on a professional ball field.

Of course Buddy knows she will fail, but figures he stands to get even richer by unloading the team while the publicity creates great interest. Someone, apparently, doesn't like the way things are going and Erin's life is in danger. Buddy hires Sunny Randall to protect her and the sparks fly as Sunny and Erin fight for dominance.

The story is exciting, but the characterization is better. Parker's characters are fun and they interact in very interesting and very human ways. Another interesting element is the appearance of small town police chief Jesse Stone and psychiatrist Susan Silverman from Parker's other series.

If you like noir mysteries, give Sunny a try.

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