This is the 1st Sunny Randall book. If you like any of Robert Parker's characters (Jesse Stone, Spenser), then you will like Sunny Randall. In fact, I think I like her better than either of the other two! She is smart, sassy & has a cast of supporting characters - including a not-too-ex-husband - that these books extremely readable & very fun!
Sunny is completely different than Spenser...okay, not completely...okay, not that much...but there is a reason why Robert B. Parker is well-loved and it's because his private eyes are snarky, smart, and surprisingly complex. Sunny is no exception. It is easy to overlook some striking similarities to Spenser because Sunny is such a fun character on her own, and in this book you get to see her at her best!
This is the first of Parker's Sunny Randall novels and the first that I have read. I thought it was very enjoyable - a fast-paced thriller very similar to the Spenser novels but with a female PI. The plot involved the disappearance of a 15-year old girl who turns to prostitution on the streets of Boston. Sunny finds her but there is more to her story than simply running away from her parents who have pretty much neglected her for all of her life. It turns out the mob is looking for her for witnessing a conspiracy involving a hit on someone involved with her mother. Anyway, in the end Sunny sorts this all out with the help of her ex-husband, Ritchie whose family is tied to the mob in Boston. Overall, I would recommend this one and will be reading more in the series.
Let's get this settled right away: Sunny Randall is nothing like Spenser. True, she's a private eye in Boston with good connections to the cops, and she also knows a lot of bad guys. And yes, she happens to have a trusty sidekick named Spike, and a close friend who could easily be related to Susan Silverman, (Spenser's long-term companion). Oh, did I mention the cute dog? Aside from that, though, there's absolutely no similarity between this new series from Robert B. Parker and his long-running Spenser books. Just because the case Sunny is working on--finding a missing 15-year-old girl who has run away from her very rich parents--sounds similar to the Spenser favorite Thin Air doesn't mean Parker is repeating himself here. Think of it as more like a homage, the kind of thing the author took on when he agreed to finish Raymond Chandler's Poodle Springs. Only in this case it's a homage to himself--but what the hell.
Written specifically with Parker's good friend actress Helen Hunt in mind, Family Honor is all in good fun. At one point, a no-nonsense nun looks down at Sunny's bull terrier, who is lying on her back begging for a tummy rub. "What's wrong with this dog?" Sister said. "It is a dog, isn't it?"
Parker is so good that with one hand tied behind his back he can create characters that are more memorable than most writers can even when pounding away with both fists. In just a few short pages, he tells us all about Sunny's career as a painter--and about the complicated relationship between her cool policeman father and her irritating pseudo-feminist mother. Parker even makes a direct dig at Spenser (who, before turning to private investigating, had a short and fairly unsuccessful career in the boxing world). When the runaway girl questions Sunny's ability to protect her from dangerous criminals--"you're a girl like me, for crissake, what are you going to do?"--Sunny replies, "It would be nice if I weighed two hundred pounds and used to be a boxer. But I'm not, so we find other ways." Exactly. --Dick Adler
Parker introduces a new character in the form of Sunny Randall, private eye. The first chapter is Sunny's background that is quite complete. Parker's funny writing style does not return until mid-book. Then the fun begins.
An entertaining read. "The author of the bestselling Spenser novels introduces a heroine unlike any other - private eye Sunny Randall. She is street smart, sexy and suddenly thrown into a Boston mob war where high stakes politics and low-down killers conspire to make Sunny's first case her last..."
Introduces private eye Sunny Randall. She's street-smart, sexy, and suddenly thrown into a Boston mob war where high-stakes politics and low-down killers conspire to make Sunny's first case her last . . .