Robert B. Parker’s Bad Influence
Sunny Randall Book 11
G. P. Putnam’s Sons Pub
June 13, 2023
Robert B. Parker’s Bad Influence by Alison Gaylin brings to life his character Sunny Randall. Those who have read Gaylin in the past know she loves to have twisted endings that are very intense. This story is not any different as she takes readers on a roller coaster ride.
“I have been a longtime fan of the Robert B. Parker books, although I did not read any of the Sunny books. I was offered to write twenty pages and thought this is a terrific opportunity. I had this idea regarding influencers. A month later I heard I got the job and will be writing a second book. : I tried to stay as loyal to Parker as I best I could. His style is different than my style with more dialogue, shorter chapters, and I have a little more internal dialogue. I did try to make it as “Parkeresque” as I could. All the supporting characters of his was like being given a toolbox to make some furniture. There is her good friend Spike, her father, her ex-husband Ritchie, his mob dad, and her dog Rosie. Parker books had more humor than I usually put but I wrote more intensity, especially at the end.”
In this story Gaylin includes many of Sunny’s supporting characters and attempts to bring her into the modern world. Bethany Rose hires Sunny to protect one of the most popular influencer couples. She offers the services of her influencer couple, Blake James, and Alena Jade, to help Sunny’s BFF Spike gain new customers for his bar and restaurant. Bethany is willing to do it on gratis if Sunny finds out who is sending threatening messages to the couple.
Sunny must come to terms with social media as she tries to figure out who is the stalker. The problem is she must get up to speed because she did not use any online forums. Now she uses it as a tool to research her clients. She is trying to understand how people can base their entire careers on letting strangers into their personal lives.
“I find the world of influencers fascinating because I see them as a con. Everything is filtered and photoshopped. They have created a character of who they hope to be, not who they are. The goal is to be aspirational, not real. There is an element of artificiality. I thought how Sunny as a single woman in her late thirties she would have a social media imprint. But she does not, and I wondered why. Although she does find it fascinating. I think she wonders if followers have a mind of their own and maybe thinks of influencers as the modern-day commercials/advertisements. The influencers are getting paid with a lot of free products. Commercials have lost their power because people fast-forward them, so influencers have taken their place. They have a whole different level of fame.”
She can be stubborn at times and is trying to figure out where she stands emotionally. I wrote Sunny as funny, tough, smart, strong, loyal, but vulnerable. She never let’s go of relationships. She had this dog Rosie who passed away and she got the same kind of dog and named it the same. She does not love change very much. She has been divorced from her ex-husband for years but still has feelings for him and they still maintain a relationship. Sunny is a solid person. In her profession as a private investigator, she is reckless, observant, and calm. She is in her late thirties. She is very good with a gun.”
This mystery/thriller is riveting, and the readers also can learn about the world of influencers, which makes the story even more fascinating.