On the Shelf: Split Image

I rarely read books written by men. I’d rather read a character-driven story than a plot-driven story - no surprise to those who have read my blog. It’s been my experience that most male authors focus more on plot than characterization. One exception to the rule: Robert B. Parker.
 
I have not read Parker’s Spenser novels, but I’ve been a big fan of the books he wrote featuring Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, especially the most recent ones that (finally!) brought Jesse and Sunny together.  I was saddened (on many levels) to learn of Parker’s death in January at age 77 – I thought of how many stories he must have had left to write, and I thought about how much I wanted to read one last “chapter” in the Jesse/Sunny saga. With Split Image, the ninth installment of the Jesse Stone series published after Parker’s death, I had that opportunity, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
 
While Paradise police chief Jesse attempts to solve two mobster murders, Boston P.I. Sunny comes to the rescue of a young woman who joined a religious cult based in – yes – Paradise. The “mystery” isn’t all that mysterious. It’s the deepening connection between Jesse and Sunny, Parker’s spot-on characterization and the promise of hopefully-ever-after that satisfied most. I finished reading the last page Monday night. Then I gave the book a big hug….
 
For those who have enjoyed the made-for-TV Jesse Stone series – good news! Tom Selleck will return as Jesse in No Remorse on Sunday, May 9, at 8 p.m. central time on CBS (a lovely Mother’s Day gift, if I do say so myself!). I watched the trailer, and I'd just like to say "WOW!"
 
Another FYI – Putnam will publish a new western by Parker in the spring, and two Spenser novels are also currently in production.
 
Fun fact I discovered in researching Parker: He earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in literature from Boston University. He also taught there and at Northeastern University. How I wish I could have taken one of his classes!