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Melancholy Baby par [Parker, Robert B.]
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Melancholy Baby Format Kindle

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Longueur : 316 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Descriptions du produit

Some of Robert B. Parker's most distinctive novels over the years (God Save the Child, Early Autumn, Ceremony, etc.) have centered on young people in trouble, so his return to that theme in Melancholy Baby is hardly a surprise. What's more remarkable is how deftly he uses the case of an angry, confused college student searching for the facts about her family background as a means to pry open the hardly less troubled psyche of Boston private eye Sonya "Sunny" Randall, a character at serious risk of one day outshining Parker's better-known but less reflective gumshoe, Spenser.

Twenty-one-year-old trust-fund kid Sarah Markham suspects that her parents aren't really related to her at all. "They can't find my birth certificate," she tells Sunny in amazement. "They don’t remember which hospital I was born in." This isn't the sort of inquiry Sunny likes to take on, especially not now, when her ex-husband of five years, Richie Burke--whom she still hasn't given up loving--is marrying another woman. However, Sunny needs a distraction from self-pity, and she can see that "everything about Sarah and her parents seemed fraudulent ... like something that had been built on the cheap, with shoddy materials and no craft, to conceal something unhealthy and mean." As she tears at this façade, though, traveling to Illinois and New York City in order to expose secrets not only in Sarah's father's past but in the history of a holier-than-thou radio celeb, Sunny discovers that her client isn't the only person being kept in the dark. But is it worth destroying Sarah's sense of herself--not to mention attracting the malicious notice of well-armed thugs--to set the record straight? And can Sunny even accomplish this, while struggling (with help from Spenser's psychiatrist girlfriend, Susan Silverman) to understand why she's 37 years old and "just can’t be married"?

Any halfway-conscious reader will spot the solution to this story's mystery from miles off, and Parker's use of central-casting figures--the hypocritical moralizer, the oleaginous but natty shyster--should earn him free admission to a "How to Create Credible Characters" seminar. Still, it's hard not to be charmed by a novel that's as willing as Melancholy Baby is to knock the pins out from under its protagonist, and see where the angst falls. At Dr. Silverman's rates, Sunny had better figure her life out soon. --J. Kingston Pierce

From Publishers Weekly

The title refers to two characters: Boston college student Sarah Markham, convinced that her parents adopted her, and Boston PI Sunny Randall, hired by Sarah to certify her parentage. Sarah is melancholy because her parents refuse to take a DNA test to settle the issue and seem furtive; Sunny, because her ex-husband, Richie, has just remarried. In this excellent fourth Sunny Randall PI tale (after Shrink Rap), Sarah's sadness leads to murder, as Sunny's questioning of the parents results in one of their deaths at the hands of the person who would suffer most if the truth comes out. Sunny's own blues lead her to Dr. Susan Silverman and sessions on the couch that, however well observed, will have fans of Parker's PI Spenser who are terminally tired of Susan (Spenser's longtime girlfriend) gritting their teeth at her intrusion into another series. Still, Sunny's own regulars, particularly tough gay pal Spike, hold their own in the tale. There's little here that Parker hasn't done before, like his protagonist's side trip to New York and her tangling with venal lawyers and reptilian celebrities as well as Parker's sensitive exploration of the meaning of family and maturity and of the tension between self-reliance and love for another, but he does it so well here, with his impeccable prose and charismatic heroine, that fans will tremble with delight.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 682 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 316 pages
  • Editeur : No Exit Press (28 février 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x8fe010a8) étoiles sur 5 100 commentaires
40 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x927126c0) étoiles sur 5 Susan Silverman Shrinks Sunny Randall 23 septembre 2004
Par Tucker Andersen - Publié sur
Format: Relié
CAVEAT: if you are looking for a mystery laden straightforward detective story filled with surprising twists, in all likelihood this will be only a two star story for you. Furthermore, if you have not previously read some of Robert Parker's books, don't start with this one. While sufficient background information is interwoven into the story to make it work as a standalone novel, any potential reader has the advantage that despite Parker's approximately fifty books in print, this is only the fourth book in the recently created Sunny (Sonya) Randall series. Thus, given the fact that all Parker's books are incredibly fast reads, it makes sense to start with FAMILY HONOR and meet Sunny's friends, family, and bull terrier Rosie as her cases and the complications of her life unfold. New readers will miss some of the crossover references to the Spenser series in this book, but even many longtime Spenser fans such as myself, the task of reading all the early books in that series (which is responsible for the legion of readers that he has today) is still incomplete. But for me, this is the most enjoyable Sunny Randall book to date.

The plot is simplicity itself, Sarah Markham (a college student) is referred to Sunny because Sarah has become increasingly convinced that the couple who have raised her are not her parents. (While they are adamant that she is her daughter they refuse to submit to a DNA test for "religious reasons" and out of privacy concerns.) Sonny has just been notified by Ritchie, her ex-husband, that given Sonny's reluctance to remarry (anyone -she still loves him) and have children, he is about to marry another woman. Thus, Sarah's case provides a possible distraction for Sunny as she attempts to sort out why she is still so psychologically conflicted about her personal relationships at thirty seven years of age. As soon as Sunny starts detecting (no more an unusual word than Sunny's use of the adjective the griefy or describing her therapy as shrinkage), she realizes what an emotional cripple Sarah is and how totally weird her parents are. Thus, the stage is set. Repairing Sarah's life will be juxtaposed with Sunny's attempt to repair her own. (The plot is simple but the storyline complex.)

Of course, violence soon erupts, and the case becomes the standard Parker detective procedural, heavy on the character relationships rather than the plot. But even for Parker, this plot is thin and the question is how the story will be resolved, not the mystery of Sarah's parentage. Of course, there are the usual few homicides, just to up the stakes and inject an element of physical danger as well as mystery and psychological stress. In addition to Ritchie's brief appearance but central importance both to the story and also to Sunny's future, Spike is once again an important supporting actor and Tony Marcus makes a cameo appearance. During one of Sunny's visits to NYC, series newcomer Detective Sal Corsetti suddenly assumes a key role in the case, and wonderfully plays his character of a surprisingly (to the bad guys) clever cop willing to take on anyone who gets in his way. We even get to meet Lolly Drake, one of the multitude of talk radio icons with whom by now we are all passingly familiar. Most importantly, however, Sunny's attempt to solve Sarah's case combined with her own personal identity crisis helps her to connect with her father (an ex-cop) and provides previously lacking insight concerning his relationship with her mother.

And now the final element of the story that will capture the interest of long time Parker readers and Spenser fans. Sunny's personal crisis finally leads her to seek professional help in an attempt to move on with her life, and who is recommended as a therapist - none other than Dr. Susan Silverman. Sunny's reaction to their initial meetings and subsequent visits is fascinating, as we suddenly see Susan from the viewpoint of a woman with Spenser's powers of observation but with an objectivity which he lacks and with the remoteness which is often the case early in the therapist - patient relationship. Never have I seen Parker spend so much time on detailed descriptions of someone who is many ways a secondary character to the story, but of course it is because of the fact that Sunny's perception of Susan's competence and their developing relationship is crucial to her future. She comes to realize that Susan cannot provide the answers either to her case or to her future.

There are many wonderful moments in this book, but most of them are only peripherally about the case. Rather, they are about the impact of the case on everyone around Sarah and Sunny, along with a few moments of pure fun with Rosie for all dog lovers. And while the case is eventually closed, there are plenty of loose ends to be picked up in future stories. What will be Ritchie's role in Sunny's life? Will Sarah's bond with Sunny somehow continue in other stories, similar to the reappearance of Paul Giacomin in the Spenser series? Will Sunny find out that Dr. Silverman's partner is also a private detective (her father obviously knows this fact but she doesn't have a clue) and how will this change their relationship? And finally, of course, the ultimate fantasy, will Sunny and Spenser's pursuit of their careers somehow cause them to be thrown into contact and collaborate on a case? We'll have to await future stories for the answers to these questions, and given the author's writing methodology he may not yet know himself. Meanwhile, I wholeheartedly recommend this book subject to the caveat at the beginning of this review.

Tucker Andersen
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90746db0) étoiles sur 5 Better than some recent Parker efforts... 16 novembre 2004
Par William E. Adams - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Parker is what he is. He writes in dialogue, his books can be read in three hours or less, one would not need to read any of them twice. Sunny Randall is a young female version of his famous P.I. "Spenser", and she works in the same city, has some of the same connections, and in this episode she encounters more directly a character from Spenser's world. I agree with the prior reviewer who notes that paying $25 for such a quickly read entertainment seems steep. I get mine from the library (and I take them back!) so money is not an issue. All that said, I enjoyed this installment quite a bit. I did guess who the villain was pretty early, yet still liked it. If you like Robert B. Parker's writing style, you'll like this. If you are new to his world, it isn't a bad choice, but I'd advise you to read the Sunny Randalls and the Jesse Stone novels in the order in which they have been published instead. As for the "Spenser" series, there are probably too many out there to find them in the order of publication, so just plunge in and go backwards. I've read at least half of Parker's 40-plus published books, and enjoyed all but one or two. He does tough guy or gal quite well, understated humor well, and beloved dogs even better. The mystical bond between seemingly mismatched couples is also a specialty of his. And quirky sidekicks, too, are handled well. "Melancholy Baby" may not be a noir masterpiece, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, either.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x902d430c) étoiles sur 5 Parker's Randall now officially fun 15 octobre 2005
Par David W. Nicholas - Publié sur
Format: Poche
Robert B. Parker has been writing Spenser novels for more than 3 decades now, and his two other series (Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone) are also entertaining. While they're good, the main characters especially tend to be somewhat derivative of Spenser. Sunny Randall, to this point, has been a smaller, younger, female version of Spenser. Now, with the help of Spenser's lady love Susan Silverman, Sunny goes into therapy in order to figure out why she can't fully commit to a relationship. The result is some character development (with a detour to revisit her relationship with her parents, especially her father) and finally the series begins to mature and develop.

Sunny's a fun character. Like Spenser, she was a cop but had trouble with authority. Like Spenser, she has a cute dog and lots of witticisms for clients and bad guys. Now, unlike Spenser, we see that she isn't always quite as self-confident as he is. This is interesting, and we'll see where Parker goes with it.

In the book's main plot, Sunny gets hired by a young woman who wants to find out who her parents really are. She has a couple who claim to be her birth parents, but doesn't believe them. When she asks them for DNA samples (which would prove her heritage) they both balk. She then hires Sunny, and when Sunny begins asking questions things get violent. Sunny, of course, is able to handle herself, and the result is that she works out some of what's going on.

I enjoyed this book. Parker's always got a sense of humor, and some of the secondary characters are wonderful. One of them, her gay friend Spike (Sunny's version of Hawk), calls himself "the world's toughest queer" and makes believers out of some of the bad guys. The whole thing, while being suspenseful, is very very fun too.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8fcddc30) étoiles sur 5 excellent 25 septembre 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Boston private detective Sunny Randall goes into an emotional tailspin when her ex-husband Richie tells her that he is getting remarried. Even though she divorced him she never stopped loving him. She just couldn't be married or live anyone else except her bullterrier Rosie. Unable to cope with the pain of Richie's remarriage, Sunny visits psychiatrist Dr. Susan Silverman. Although she doesn't know it, Susan is the girlfriend of the famous Spencer.

Needing something to occupy herself, Sunny takes on the case of Sarah Markham, a twenty year old college student, who wants her to find out who her real parents are. When Sunny talks to the Markhams they insist that they are Sarah's real parents; Sunny catches the husband in a lie about where he worked when Sarah was conceived. Two thugs beat up Sarah, telling her to drop the investigation or else. The same musclemen come after Sunny who meets them with her gun and some backup. The information she gets from these two goons leads her to the people who hired them. By the time the case is finished, two men are dead, one person is going to prison, Sarah learns who her biological mother is and Sunny is beginning to understand her fears of marriage.

Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randall series is not a female version of Spenser. She is a troubled woman who seeks help to regain her mental health as s she shows her emotions more than Spenser does and her methods of investigation are quite different as is her circle of friends. MELANCHOLY BABY is one of the author's best works with its stark prose, eccentric cast and a climax it is impossible not to love.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90135c3c) étoiles sur 5 The Best So Far of a Very Good Series 28 août 2005
Par Alexander B. - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Parker is amazing. How can an author have 4 series going at once and always deliver books worth reading? True, some are stronger than others....but there's not a "clunker" in the lot. And Melancoly Baby puts the Sunny Randall series in a special class.

Sunny Randall is a female Boston PI who in her private life is a painter devoted to her bull terrier and her ex-husband...complex, likeable, competant and attractive.

Melancoly Baby starts with a trust-fund baby who doubts her parentage and hires Sunny to find out who her parents really are. The case escalates to intimidation and then murder.

The characters are well developed with an economy of words. And Parker makes it more fun yet by involving in a believable way some of the Spencer characters.

If you like a mystery but also want characters with interest and intelligence, you will love Melancoly Baby.
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