Parker, Robert B. Shrink Rap. Putnam. September 2002. c304p. ISBN 0-399-14930-9. $24.95. Fiction (Mystery).

Mystery Grand Master Parker delivers another fun read in his third Sunny Randall novel (after Perish Twice and Family Honor). Romance novelist Melanie Joan Hall needs help. She is about to start a book tour but is frightened to death of her ex-husband, psychiatrist John Melvin, who is stalking her. P. I. Sunny Randall, also divorced and with her own problems never far from her mind, is hired to be her bodyguard. Melvin’s clients are all wealthy women, and no one wants to talk about what he does with them, not even when two wind up dead under suspicious circumstances. To find out what Melvin’s up to, Sunny disguises herself and becomes his patient, putting herself in harm’s way while probing the secret recesses of her own psyche. This is a novel of sly wit (evident also in the title), heavy on dialogue and short on descriptive or narrative prose. But the effect is to hurtle the reader toward the climax, with a fine sense of ever-increasing danger. Fans will enjoy the crisp dialogue, Sunny’s investigations of her mind, and the matching of wits with a truly frightening villain. Highly recommended for all mystery collections.

LJ, 127, no. 13 (August 1, 2002), 144-145.

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