Robert B. Parker's Payback, A Sunny Randall Novel by Mike Lupica
Published on November 19, 2021
Reviewed by Marybeth Ginsberg
The Sunny Randall detective series was originally launched by renowned author Robert B. Parker in 1999. Payback, published in 2021, was written by Mike Lupica. It is the ninth book in the series.
Payback is told from the point of view of Sunny Randall, a Boston-based, Glock-toting, private eye with conflicting love interests. Sunny lives with her dog Rosie and is struggling to keep off the extra pandemic pounds she recently lost. She spends time exploring her own inner motivations with her therapist and is surrounded by a group of dedicated colleagues, friends, and family that always have her back.
At the opening of the novel, Sunny immediately decides to come to the aid of her good friend when his restaurant is repossessed by a loan shark with a background as a hedge fund manager. Around the same time, Sunny finds herself helping a colleague to track down an alleged assailant who attacked his niece near her college apartment.
Things are not what they seem, and the plot develops quickly as Sunny works to uncover two seemingly unrelated mysteries that soon converge. When the hedge fund manager turns up dead and the uncooperative college student leaves Sunny suspicious, very suspicious, Sunny is determined to find answers. As Sunny pursues each lead, a complicated tale involving organized crime is uncovered.
The stakes are high ($50 million to be exact) in this hard-boiled and fast-moving novel that involves the Russian mob, an interesting cast of characters that seem to come out of the woodwork, poker tournaments, and several unexpected twists and turns. After a few close calls, Sunny prevails to continue her work in true Sunny Randall fashion.