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by Mike Lupica
G.P. Putnam's Sons, November 2018
336 pages
ISBN: 0525535365

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

We last read about Sunny Randall in 2007 when Robert B. Parker's Spare Change was published. I've missed her adventures and was pleased to hear Parker's estate engaged Mike Lupica to resurrect the series.

BLOOD FEUD gets off to a fast start with Richie Burke, Sunny's ex-husband and current boyfriend, being shot in the back with the message "sins of the father" whispered in his ear. Richie's father, Desmond Burke, started out as a gang member in Boston and worked his way up to be the biggest player in loan-sharking and money-laundering, along with his brothers Felix and Peter.

Before Richie leaves the hospital, former police officer and now a PI, Sunny begins investigating. Her first stop is Tony Marcus, who runs prostitution in Boston. Second stop is meeting Desmond, Richie's dad, who asks her to stay out of it. Back at her new townhouse, she calls Richie, now at home, and offers to bring take-out from Spike's, an upscale dining establishment owned by her best friend Spike. Sunny and Richie wake up the next morning to news that Richie's Uncle Peter is dead, shot in the back of the head.

Sunny brainstorms with her dad, Phil Randall, a retired police detective who knows a lot about the recent history of organized crime in Boston. With a list of surviving and active crime figures, Sunny starts interviewing each, trying to uncover who might have reason for a blood feud against Desmond Burke.

The story is strong and well-plotted. Mike Lupica uses the writing style Robert Parker originally employed for this series so the shift between authors feels seamless. And Lupica keeps the action moving with short chapters, heavy use of dialogue, and a surprising development. Welcome back Sunny Randall.

§ Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton’s, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, October 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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