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Split Image
By Robert B. Parker

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Split Image

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Split Image
By Robert B. Parker
Thorndike Large Print (2010), 373 pages
ISBN: 978-1410421876
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - March 1, 2010

Robert B. Parker's books are a delight to read. His wit is engaging, his dialogue, although repetitious, is clever and sharp, and his characters are full of life, familiar and likable. It is a joy to read about them even if nothing happens, and how much more when there is drama and suspense, as there is here.

Jesse Stone, chief of police in the ironically-named Paradise, is confronted by a murder of a gangster's enforcer, by the killing of a crime lord, by gorgeous twin wives of two gangsters who need to solve their psychological inadequacies by dressing alike and by having sex with the same man, by angst over his unreciprocated love with his ex-wife, by his sexual attraction to Sunny Randall and by his sometime over-use of alcohol to dampen his angst.

Sunny Randall, the lovely private eye, suffering from her own inner struggles and frustrations over her own unreciprocated love with her former husband and by her long term sexual attraction to Jesse Stone, is back in Paradise attempting to save a rich couple's daughter from the clutches of a fundamentalist Christian cult. But is it a cult? And are the parents really looking out for their daughter's welfare? Will Sunny switch sides?

It is interesting to read about two very likable and very strong and intelligent figures who fight against evil, such as Stone and Randall, who are somewhat crushed by the evil of their debilitating sexual hang-ups. Parker offers no psychoanalysis of his characters, but it is entertaining to watch their actions and reactions and make up our own minds. Ironically, we read of the "split image" of the twins and also of the dual conflicting drives of Stone and Randall.

I wrote a somewhat humorous eulogy when I heard of Parker's death. I thought he, having a healthy appreciation of life and a strong sense of humor, would appreciate it. I think it is worth repeating some of it.


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.


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