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Blue Screen [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 5 2007 Sunny Randall (Book 5)
Sunny Randall, "Boston's leading lady gumshoe" (New York Daily News), returns as hired bodyguard for the spoiled, and possibly dangerous, prize female client of a sleazy producer. This time, she gets a little help from Parker's popular character Jesse Stone, making a guest appearance here


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Parker's two non-Spenser leads, Boston PI Sunny Randall, and Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone, join forces in this breezy, fast-paced whodunit. Buddy Bollen, a sleazy Hollywood producer, hires Sunny to protect his girlfriend, Erin Flint, a stunning action star who's trying to become major league baseball's first female player, for Buddy's franchise, the Connecticut Nutmegs. When one of Erin's entourage turns up dead, Sunny discovers that the deceased was Erin's younger sister, Misty, and that the two share a sordid past. Since the murder takes place on Jesse's quiet turf, the detective and the police chief, both of whom are on the rebound from failed marriages, must take each other's measure and are soon sizing each other up romantically. While the mystery's resolution may be fairly predictable, the witty byplay between the principals and the convincing portrayal of their burgeoning relationship will leave Parker fans eager for the next book to feature Sunny and Jesse as sleuthing and romantic partners. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Erin Flint is on all the magazine covers, and her last movie--lotta body, acting not so much--was boffo box office. Her lover-manager, Buddy Bollen, who also owns a major-league baseball team, wants Flint to play for his team--a cameo, but timed to coincide with the release of her next movie. But Erin fears there may be an attempt on her life, so Boston investigator Sunny Randall is hired to be her bodyguard. While working on her batting skills in the resort town of Paradise, one of Erin's entourage is murdered. Sunny, with the blessing of Paradise police chief Jesse Stone--another Parker series regular--sets off to find the killer. Parker has never been big on plots. He's all about character, characters, and snappy dialogue, and all are present here in spades. What makes this special is the dalliance between Stone and Randall. Both are smart, clever, witty, brave, burdened with the weight of past loves, and, well, downright horny. This isn't Parker's best work, but it may be his most lighthearted. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mills and Boon Jan. 22 2013
By Nat L TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I'm a big fan of Robert B Parker but this book is so disappointing. It's a badly written book that Parker seems to have churned out just to bring Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall together. Their relationship is pure Mills and Boon. To make matters worse the mystery part of the book is not only unbelievable but it is also so slow. If this was the first Robert Parker book that I'd read I wouldn't read any more.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  94 reviews
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double your Pleasure - Susan and Stone in One Book June 23 2006
By Lisa Shea - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It took five books, but Robert B Parker has finally found a woman's voice and attitude for Sunny that I find realistic. The first books had Sunny saying loudly to anyone who would listen that she was strong and independent - then she would promptly crumble and look for a man to rescue her. With Blue Screen, Sunny really does stand on her own - and ironically it's a story that immediately brings her in contact with Jesse Stone, from Parker's other series. This *could* have spelled disaster for Sunny's ability to stand on her own, but the pair actually work well together, supporting each other instead of Stone treating Sunny as a little girl.

Where the previous Sunny books relied too heavily on cute references to every single character found in Spenser novels, we almost have a clean slate here with Blue Screen. We still run into Susan Silverman and Healy every once in a while, but it's toned down from previous rounds. Sunny is brought in by a millionaire who wants to protect his curvy actress, Erin Flint, from harm. Erin is, of course, in traditional Parker fashion, an uppity, obnoxious feminist who thinks all men are slime. We've seen this character a few times before.

Sunny takes on the job, in short order a friend named Misty is slain, and the chase is on. It turns out of course that EVERYONE is lying, and about really idiotic things, too. Did Erin really think her lies would not be found out? There's a difference between not intelligent and completely senseless. There are a number of things happening during this story which are deliberately for plot reasons - and the plot is pretty transparent.

But when you come down to it, this particular story's not about the mystery, or the plot. It's about the romance. Pretty much all focus is on Sunny and Jesse. How is Jesse dealing with his ex-wife who has cheated on him yet again? How is Sunny dealing with her ex-husband who has moved on in life? How can they carefully hook up with each other, with the emotional wounds still so fresh? Should Sunny shave her legs? Should Jesse risk taking a drink again? It's like watching a courtship dance between porcupines - both are lonely, both are really concerned about being hurt again and about hurting the other. Eventually, of course, they find a way to make it work.

I also love Parker's writing style in general. It's what keeps me coming back for more each time. The way he words things, the dialogues he creates, it is poetry in motion. I still laugh out loud when I read Parker - and there are phrases I remember long after I finish the last page.

Still, I have to wonder just where things are going to go now. I really enjoy the Jesse Stone series, and am also liking the made-for-TV versions that have Tom Selleck playing Jesse. I am hoping they go through and make each book into one, and even perhaps start a whole series based on it. Parker was writing all three series - Spenser, Stone and Sunny - side by side. Does this mean the next book will be a Stone book, continuing the story? Up until now, readers could read just "one line" - say just the Stone line - and not feel TOO lost (despite the continual references to Spenser characters). With the incestuous intertwining that has just happened, readers need to have read BOTH lines (the Jesse and the Sunny lines) to really understand the background of both characters and to get all the references in this book. I suppose it's a way for Parker to ensure that people read every single book he writes, if he's going to have every book refer to every other book he's written.

I suppose since I *do* read every book that Parker writes, I don't mind. But I do feel sorry for people who pick this one up having only read the Sunny series - they'll be quite lost about what Stone is all about. I also would look forward to a refocus on the mystery and plot. Yes, I love the human interplay - but where previous Sunny and Stone books were quite nice in their human nature insights, this one was more laid out as a romance novel. The insight was along the lines of "My ex is married, maybe I really should move on with my life."

As a final note, every time I see the title "Blue Screen" I immediately think "Blue Screen of Death", i.e. the Windows screen you get when it crashes. My friends that I talk to have the same response. I imagine this was intended :)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Novel July 17 2007
By Kocca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Robert Parker novel I have read and I was really disappointed. The plot had potential, but was poorly written. The dialogue was terrible with an occassional funny line thrown in. I usually love books with strong female characters, but Sunny Randall was written without any depth. Basically the author makes a few statements that tells the reader that she's a strong character and that's as far as the character development goes. Actually there wasn't much in the way of real development or depth for any of the characters.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half a Good Novel June 25 2006
By C. Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read every Robert B. Parker novel so of course I have read all the novels featuring Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall. This novel is told from the viewpoint of Sunny Randall but Jesse Stone is the other primary character. In this novel the two team up to solve a murder. The characterization in this novel is fabulous as Parker builds on his previous work to paint a continuing picture of these two endearing characters. The plot seems to be just a backdrop for this character building and that is where the novel falls apart.

The plot finds Sunny Randall being hired by Buddy Bollen, a rich mogul who produces movies and also owns a major league baseball team, as a bodyguard for his lover and film star Erin Flint. It just so happens that Erin is not only a stunning beauty but a terrific athlete as well so Buddy plans to have her play on his major league baseball team, the Connecticut Nutmegs, mainly as a publicity stunt. Erin's personal trainer, Misty, is murdered on the Bollen compound in Paradise, Massachusetts and Erin hires Sunny to solve the murder, suspending her role as bodyguard. Jesse Stone, chief of police of Paradise, brings Sunny into his investigation at her request. Of course Sunny and Jesse begin to unravel the unsavory past of both Erin and Buddy with explosive consequences.

I loved Sunny and Jesse together in this novel, which is what kept me reading, despite the preposterous and unbelievable plot. The interplay between Jesse and Sunny is just simply Parker at his best and was a rewarding part of the novel for those who are fans of both series.

The plot is idiotic and why Parker chose such a ridiculous plot is beyond me. First, Erin Flint is a movie star - she's been in People Magazine and similar publications. As we find about her past, the reader realizes just how unbelievable it is that it was kept so well hidden. In this age of paparazzi and aggressive tabloid media, her past would never have gone undiscovered. Secondly, the major league baseball team, the Connecticut Nutmegs??!! First, nobody in their right mind would put a major league baseball team in Connecticut. Second, even if they did, they WOULD NOT call them the Nutmegs. Finally, Buddy Bollen is an unsavory character with mob connections. Again, in this day and age, there is no way a person like Buddy Bollen would be allowed to own a major league baseball team. There is one other glaring gap in the plot that I can't mention as it would be a spoiler. The plot is just completely unbelievable and that totally ruined the novel for me.

Why, oh why, waste such a wonderful concept of bringing these two interesting characters together on a plot that undermines the body of work? I hope to read more about Sunny and Jesse together - but I really hope for a plot that is deserving of them.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are the editors??? July 15 2007
By Kim Mussman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am getting tired of being disappointed by big name writers whose early works were thoughful but who are now churning out books so quickly they don't even have time to be picked over for weaknesses in plot, characterization, and other qualities of good fiction writing. Ex: James Patterson, Stephen King, and now, added to my list: R.B.Parker.

When these guys started out, they were great. They actually had their books edited, got feedback, made changes along the lines of good fiction writing. Now, it seems that just putting their name on the cover sells, so why bother with good old fashioned editing?

If Parker reads this, I urge him to slow down! He's so busy churning out books and getting movie deals, that he's lost the art of fiction writing.

Case in point: Blue Screen and High Profile. I can't talk about the latter because I couldn't get through the first 10 pages, with all the "he said" and "she said". Since when does a writer have to tag EVERY line of dialogue?

Blue Screen is terribly written. First of all, the plot is uneven. Parker introduces us to a whole set of characters (the Erin Flint entourage) and then drops them flat for most of the novel. The plot gets lost in myriad uninteresting diversions so that at most points, I just didn't care at all about the murder and I couldn't understand why Sunny or Jesse cared, except insofar as it kept them together.

Then, there were various unbelievable aspects of the plot which other reviewers have mentioned. These were terribly distracting. For ex: Why would a P.I. and a police chief go out of their way to rustle the feathers of a dangerous mobster (Moonbeam)and potential murder suspect when there was NO POINT to their interview with him in the first place? And, more disturbing...how is a small town police chief from MA going to travel to LA with his lover/PI to investigate a murder and then get a luxury hotel room for them both to share on police dept funds? How does the reader continue to admire them as professionals? These are just some of the weaknesses. Then, there are outright repetitions in the dialogue that should have been picked up by editors. I could go on and on.

One more point that bothers me about Parker's recent writing: his portrayal of women. Susan Silverman was cool...smart, professional, sophisticated, and loved unconditionally by her man, who's also a smart guy. But Sunny Randall is like every guy's fantasy chick: cute and blonde, drinks just enough to get it on with you and doesn't expect commitment for it, understands that you are still hung up on your wife, but will sleep with you anyway, and doesn't mind that he has her picture on the bedstand! She's not even that smart...she gets her information because she's cute or knows a powerful man who refers her to another powerful man. And then there's Erin Flint, who has NO personality and nothing to say except "they want to kill me because I am going to play baseball" or the "F" word. Where are the real women here?

Needless to say, I am done with new R.B. Parker books. I will go back to Spenser books I may have missed along the way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two fo the Price of One July 12 2006
By SDRTX - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Although billed as a Sunny Randall novel, Paradise series character Jesse Stone almost gets as much story time as Sunny.

Sunny is hired first as a bodyguard to D-List movie actress and aspiring baseball player, Erin Flint, by her movie producer, baseball team owner Sugar Daddy, Buddy Bollen. Sunny does not get to act as body guard long before Erin's sister Misty is found with her neck broken. Erin wants her sister's death investigated and Sunny is right for the job with the blessing of Chief of Police Jesse Stone.

Robert Parker safely follows a bluepint of the successful crime novel...flawed tough guy hero, almost as tough heroine, a little romance, obvious bad guys, and a not too complicated plot. The book was engaging but not compelling. I enjoyed it while I was reading then I promptly forgot about it. I do like both Sunny and Jesse. I'm not sure if I like them as a couple. Characters from other Parker novels show up which feels a bit gimmicky.

3.5 Stars
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