Perish Twice (Sunny Randall Series #2)

Perish Twice (Sunny Randall Series #2)

by Robert B. Parker

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Overview

Spenser creator Robert B. Parker returns with his newest heroine, Boston P.I. Sunny Randall, coming to the aid of three very different women in three very dangerous situations. One is for business. One is for a friend. One is for family. And all could be fatal…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425182154
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/06/2001
Series: Sunny Randall Series , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 156,549
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Date of Birth:

September 17, 1932

Date of Death:

January 18, 2010

Place of Birth:

Springfield, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Education:

B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

My sister Elizabeth came to see me.

Elizabeth is three years older than I am. We aren't close. We had spent too much of our childhood fighting over Daddy ever to be the kind of sisters that talk on the phone every day. To cement my conviction that Elizabeth was a pain, my dog, Rosie, didn't like her either. Since Rosie likes everyone, including armed intruders, it seemed clear that Elizabeth was special.

"What kind is she again?" Elizabeth said. "A Boston terrier?"

"Bull terrier," I said. "Rosie is a miniature bull terrier."

"I thought she was a Boston terrier."

"You want to see her papers," I said.

"Oh, aren't you funny," Elizabeth said.

We were having coffee at the counter in my kitchen without Rosie, who had left us and was on my bed at the other end of the loft, watching us carefully with one black eye.

"So what brings you to South Boston?" I said.

"Is this really South Boston?" Elizabeth said.

"The yuppie part," I said.

"Oh . . . this coffee is very good."

"Starbucks," I said.

"What is it?"

"Starbucks," I said. "This particular one is from Guatemala."

"Oh, write that down for me, will you?"

"Sure."

I wrote Starbucks Coffee on a piece of notepaper and gave it to her. She stuffed it into her purse. I waited. She sipped some coffee. I looked at Rosie. Rosie's tail stirred. But she didn't change her mind about staying on the bed.

"Do you ever see your ex-husband?" Elizabeth said.

"Richie and I see each other every Wednesday night."

"Do you do anything?"

"Do anything?'

"You know," Elizabeth said, "sex. It's all right to ask because I'm your big sister."

"Then I guess it's all right for me to say none of your business."

"Oh don't be so silly," Elizabeth said. "Do you date other men?"

"Yes."

"And?"

"Elizabeth, what the hell are we talking about here?"

"For God's sake, I'm just asking if you have sex."

"None of your business. Do I ask you about your sex life?"

"Oh, me, I'm an old married woman."

"Elizabeth, you're thirty-eight," I said.

"You know what I mean," Elizabeth said. "I'm just interested in what life is like when you can't stay married."

I got up and walked down the length of my loft, breathing deeply and carefully. I bent down and gave Rosie a kiss on the nose, and breathed some more and walked slowly back.

"We who can't stay married prefer to keep our sex lives to ourselves," I said.

"Oh, Sunny, honestly you're so quaint sometimes."

"Quaint," I said.

The sun was almost straight up and it shone strongly through my skylight onto one of my paintings that stood unfinished on its easel.

"You're still painting," Elizabeth said.

"Yes."

"Does anyone ever buy one of your paintings?"

"Occasionally."

"Really?"

I nodded.

We sat quietly for a while. Elizabeth reached over and got the pot and poured herself some more coffee. She didn't replace the pot. Just set it down on the counter near her where it would grow cold. It took some will, but I didn't reach across and replace it. I didn't want any more anyway.

"How's Hal," I said.

She carefully poured some milk into her coffee and stirred in two sugars, and put the spoon down and sipped from the cup.

"I think he's cheating on me," Elizabeth said.

"Hal?"

"Yes. I think so, and, isn't this funny, I want you to see if you can find out for sure."

"Me?"

"You are being a detective these days, aren't you?"

"Yes, of course, but . . ."

"I wouldn't want to hire some stranger," Elizabeth said.

"You want me to tail him? Get pictures? Catch him in the act? That sort of thing?"

"Yes."

"Why don't you just ask him?"

"Ask him? Don't be ridiculous. Why in God's name would he tell me?"

"Because you asked," I said.

"No. I'm not asking that bastard anything. I am going to catch him."

"You don't want to maybe talk about this with him, see about professional help?"

"A shrink? They're all crazy. It's why they became shrinks."

"Maybe not every one of them," I said.

"And most of them are Jews."

"Maybe not every one of them," I said.

"I don't want to discuss this anymore. Will you help me?"

"Of course. I was just trying to see if we could agree on the kind of help you needed."

"Well it's certainly not some crazy Jew," Elizabeth said.

I thought about going down and lying on the bed with Rosie. Arguing with Elizabeth was futile. She was, as my father used to say about our mother, often wrong, but never uncertain. And like our mother she simply dug in deeper when her convictions were questioned. If they were actually disproved, she was entrenched for life.

"I'll do whatever I can," I said.

—Reprinted from Perish Twice by Robert B. Parker by permission of G.P. Putnam Groups, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2000 Robert B. Parker. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Parker's narrative is so taut that bullets could bounce off it and so fast-paced it could compete in the 100-meters.”—The Orlando Sentinel

“Parker's most tightly plotted mystery in years.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Fans of Spenser will like Sunny Randall.”—San Francisco Examiner

“An entertaining, fast-paced read.”—The Chicago Tribune

Introduction

Chapter 1

My sister Elizabeth came to see me.

Elizabeth is three years older than I am. We aren't close. We had spent too much of our childhood fighting over Daddy ever to be the kind of sisters that talk on the phone every day. To cement my conviction that Elizabeth was a pain, my dog, Rosie, didn't like her either. Since Rosie likes everyone, including armed intruders, it seemed clear that Elizabeth was special.

"What kind is she again?" Elizabeth said. "A Boston terrier?"

"Bull terrier," I said. "Rosie is a miniature bull terrier."

"I thought she was a Boston terrier."

"You want to see her papers," I said.

"Oh, aren't you funny," Elizabeth said.

We were having coffee at the counter in my kitchen without Rosie, who had left us and was on my bed at the other end of the loft, watching us carefully with one black eye.

"So what brings you to South Boston?" I said.

"Is this really South Boston?" Elizabeth said.

"The yuppie part," I said.

"Oh . . . this coffee is very good."

"Starbucks," I said.

"What is it?"

"Starbucks," I said. "This particular one is from Guatemala."

"Oh, write that down for me, will you?"

"Sure."

I wrote Starbucks Coffee on a piece of notepaper and gave it to her. She stuffed it into her purse. I waited. She sipped some coffee. I looked at Rosie. Rosie's tail stirred. But she didn't change her mind about staying on the bed.

"Do you ever see your ex-husband?" Elizabeth said.

"Richie and I see each other every Wednesday night."

"Do you do anything?"

"Do anything?'

"You know," Elizabeth said, "sex. It's all right to ask because I'm your big sister."

"Then I guess it's all right for me to say none of your business."

"Oh don't be so silly," Elizabeth said. "Do you date other men?"

"Yes."

"And?"

"Elizabeth, what the hell are we talking about here?"

"For God's sake, I'm just asking if you have sex."

"None of your business. Do I ask you about your sex life?"

"Oh, me, I'm an old married woman."

"Elizabeth, you're thirty-eight," I said.

"You know what I mean," Elizabeth said. "I'm just interested in what life is like when you can't stay married."

I got up and walked down the length of my loft, breathing deeply and carefully. I bent down and gave Rosie a kiss on the nose, and breathed some more and walked slowly back.

"We who can't stay married prefer to keep our sex lives to ourselves," I said.

"Oh, Sunny, honestly you're so quaint sometimes."

"Quaint," I said.

The sun was almost straight up and it shone strongly through my skylight onto one of my paintings that stood unfinished on its easel.

"You're still painting," Elizabeth said.

"Yes."

"Does anyone ever buy one of your paintings?"

"Occasionally."

"Really?"

I nodded.

We sat quietly for a while. Elizabeth reached over and got the pot and poured herself some more coffee. She didn't replace the pot. Just set it down on the counter near her where it would grow cold. It took some will, but I didn't reach across and replace it. I didn't want any more anyway.

"How's Hal," I said.

She carefully poured some milk into her coffee and stirred in two sugars, and put the spoon down and sipped from the cup.

"I think he's cheating on me," Elizabeth said.

"Hal?"

"Yes. I think so, and, isn't this funny, I want you to see if you can find out for sure."

"Me?"

"You are being a detective these days, aren't you?"

"Yes, of course, but . . ."

"I wouldn't want to hire some stranger," Elizabeth said.

"You want me to tail him? Get pictures? Catch him in the act? That sort of thing?"

"Yes."

"Why don't you just ask him?"

"Ask him? Don't be ridiculous. Why in God's name would he tell me?"

"Because you asked," I said.

"No. I'm not asking that bastard anything. I am going to catch him."

"You don't want to maybe talk about this with him, see about professional help?"

"A shrink? They're all crazy. It's why they became shrinks."

"Maybe not every one of them," I said.

"And most of them are Jews."

"Maybe not every one of them," I said.

"I don't want to discuss this anymore. Will you help me?"

"Of course. I was just trying to see if we could agree on the kind of help you needed."

"Well it's certainly not some crazy Jew," Elizabeth said.

I thought about going down and lying on the bed with Rosie. Arguing with Elizabeth was futile. She was, as my father used to say about our mother, often wrong, but never uncertain. And like our mother she simply dug in deeper when her convictions were questioned. If they were actually disproved, she was entrenched for life.

"I'll do whatever I can," I said.

Reprinted from Perish Twice by Robert B. Parker by permission of G.P. Putnam Groups, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2000 Robert B. Parker. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Customer Reviews

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Perish Twice (Sunny Randall Series #2) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
bookwormRW More than 1 year ago
What can I say? It's a Robert B. Parker, and that says it all
hwood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not too good. Female detective who talks with far too many females with husband/boyfriend problems. No suspense here.Who cares?
ThePolyBlog More than 1 year ago
PLOT OR PREMISE: Sunny Randall is back, and she has a new part-time job as advisor to the love-lorn. Her first customer is Mary Lou Goddard, a prominent feminist (à la Rachel Wallace, from the Spenser series) who thinks she's being stalked. When Sunny figures out who the stalker is, Goddard wants to drop it all and fires her. Doesn't stop her from continuing to investigate, even though she has no client. The second customer is her sister -- who hires her to catch the sister's husband in the process of cheating. Which Sunny does, and then spends the rest of the book dealing with the dysfunctional sister. And the third and final customer is her normal confidant and best friend, Julie, who runs into marital problems in this book. . WHAT I LIKED: This is a first-rate mystery, with typical Parker twists and turns and links to criminal types. It provides a different spin on the normal Spenser series, while still staying within the same ballpark. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The storyline with the sister is hard to take because you just want to mentally slap her; which is okay because Sunny wants to slap her too, although I can't figure out why she doesn't. The third storyline with Julie is okay, but started to grate near the end. . BOTTOM-LINE: Good story and first-rate mystery . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I was not personal friends with the author, nor did I follow him on social media.
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K_C More than 1 year ago
I had not read anything by this author so a friend loaned me this book and I read it before reading the first in the series. I did appreciate that the author gave enough background that I wasn't lost. This was a good book and I had a hard time putting it down. As one person mentioned it was an "abrupt ending." But...as another person said about the ending, "you will have many thoughts about what the story means that you would not otherwise have." Both are very true statements. I would recommend this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Perish Twice is the second in Robert Parker's new series about his female private detective, Ms. Sunny Randall. No one who reads the story will miss the similarities to Spenser. Through the parallels, you can begin to see more clearly Mr. Parker's thesis about what being a good, honest person should be about. What constitutes a proper life for women and men is remarkably similar. As in the Spenser books, most people don't get it. His interpretation of the proper feminist version of goodness and a healthy mind becomes more obvious in Perish Twice than in any other book by Mr. Parker. This transparency is helped by his setting up so many alternative models of women who are either phony, hypocritical, or miserable (or perhaps a little of each). As with the previous Sunny Randall book, Family Honor, this one makes Sunny a little too dependent on her hoodlum ex-in-laws to be totally palatable. The story has four major plot lines. The primary one revolves around a bodyguard job that Sunny does for a high profile feminist, Ms. Mary Lou Goddard. Someone is threatening Ms. Goddard. Sunny soon spots a stalker and tracks him down. The path from there takes many twists. The second one involves Sunny's sister Elizabeth who wants to know if her husband is cheating on her. Sunny quickly finds out that he is, and Sunny plays chaperone and analyst for her emotionally floundering and confused sister. The third relates to her friend, Julie, who suddenly walks away from her marriage. The fourth continues Sunny's relationship with her ex-husband, Richie. Each plot line crosses the others from time to time, providing for a rewarding set of developments. The mystery in the book has two very interesting features. First, it develops surprising depth after what appears to be a very simple beginning and initial plot. Second, Mr. Parker leaves the ending at a place where many stories don't end. As a result, you will have many thoughts about what the story means that you would not otherwise have. That's a fine bit of writing. So you have at least two nice surprises to look forward to enjoying. After you finish this book, you should think about why connecting to other people is so difficult and painful. Another useful question might be why we don't draw more love and support from our connections to one another. What's missing? Put honoring your values ahead of pursuing your needs, if you want to enjoy self-respect. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really disappointed by the abrupt ending of this book, and I am a #1 fan of Robert Parker's, having read all but 2 of his novels. I am hoping that the next Sunny novel will pick up where this one left off as I am still wondering, WHAT's GOING ON?
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took about 8 or 10 novels in the Spenser series before Parker hit a bad patch but it's only taken 1 in the Sonny series. The three story lines are pretty lame--the only one that he really develops is about her sister where you find out a little more about Sonny's family--probably the best written part of the book. The supposed main story line about the woman being stalked is boring. Nothing really happens, then someone is murdered, then you find out who did it. The ending is just sort of made up when it comes time to end the book. If you want to read a wonderfully witty story along these lines, get 'Looking for Rachel Wallace,' which is the Spenserized version. The characters are fully realized and the writing is Parker at his absolute best. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud when reading the Spenser/Wallace conversations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sunny Randall, a Boston P.I. (like her Parker stablemate Spenser) is a smart-alecky streetwise ex-cop. Hired to provide security for a lesbian activist, Sunny quickly finds herself involved with a prostitution ring, Boston's Irish mob, and multiple murders. One has the feeling Parker intended for his sleuth to be charming, but character misses the mark. There is too much changing of POV and way too much non-essential filler-stuff--and not nearly enough mystery or action. Pass on this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I doubt if many people in the US love Parker's work more than I do, but Perish Twice makes Hugger Mugger, the last stinker in the Spenser series, look like a literary masterpiece. Unfocused, rambling, repetitive and dull: If Sunny explained her neurotic pseudo-marriage to Richie just one more time, I was going to run shrieking. This is painful to write. I own most of the Spenser books in first edition and very much enjoyed the Stone novels, and thought that the first Sunny novel was terrific. This one isn't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the newest 'Sunny Randall' novel, PERISH TWICE, by Robert B. Parker, the author fails to live up to the high standards set by his first book, FAMILY HONOR. In this story, our female PI is hired by Mary Lou Goddard, a staunch pro-feminist and lesbian, who fears that she is being stalked by a former male lover...something that she'd rather not have become public knowledge. It isn't long before one of Goddard's female assistants (someone who happens to favor her in appearance) is murdered, quickly followed by the apparent suicide of the stalker. Things, however, don't feel right to Randall, but before she can get a firm grasp on the situation, she is fired by her client. This doesn't stop our sharp PI. She decides to do a little investigating on her own to find out what is really going on behind the scenes and becomes the target of an unknown assailant, leading her into 'Spencer' territory as she comes into contact with Tony Marcus and Ty-Bop. While all of this is going on, Randall also has to play nursemaid to her sister, Elizabeth, and her best friend, Julie, both of whom are having serious problems in their marriages. Now, if Mr. Parker had stayed with the main plot of the story, instead of veering off with the subplots, he would have had a great novel here. Mr. Parker spends too much time on the problems of Elizabeth and Julie, rather than on Sunny Randall cracking open the case in her usual head-on-attack manner. Last, but not the least, is the ending. For me, it is a virtual letdown in how Mr. Parker chooses to reveal the solutions to everything. He has done much better in most of previous books. Still, with all things considered, PERISH TWICE is a good read. Even when Mr. Parker writes what I consider to be an average novel, it is still levels above most of what is being published out there. His dialogue is always a pure pleasure to read, and he has created a wonderful character in the nature of Sunny Randall. She simply deserves better!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spenser in drag.........but a terrific read anyway. Love the character so much I went out and bought Family Honor. Keep up the good work. How about a Sunny Randall/Spenser combo, and get rid of Susan Silverman. What a book that would be.