A Book Spy Review: ‘Robert B. Parker’s Grudge Match’ by Mike Lupica

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Grudge MatchFollowing last year’s Blood Feud (Lupica’s first contribution to the series), Boston PI Sunny Randall returns for more action in Robert B. Parker’s Grudge Match.

Tony Marcus needs Sunny’s help, but there’s a problem—she can’t trust him at. At all. At least not after a recent falling out of sorts, which left their relationship on thin ice. Still, feeling as though she owes him a favor, Tony cashes in to secure Sunny’s help tracking down his missing girlfriend, Lisa Morneau. Of course, things quickly spiral out of control when a witness Sunny spoke to turns up dead—leading her to question what’s really going on, and if Tony truly wants her found, or altogether silenced.

Diehard fans of Robert B. Parker’s beloved characters should thank the thriller gods that Mike Lupica stepped up and took over this series. More so than any of the other estate writers (Ace Atkins, Reed Farrell Coleman, etc.) Lupica has managed to capture Parker’s voice and the distinct voice of his characters. Similar to how Mark Greany found success keeping Jack Ryan alive following the death of Tom Clancy, or Kyle Mills taking on Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp to critical acclaim, Lupica honors Parker’s memory by nurturing the characters who have transcended his death. In his careful hands, Sunny is the tough, wise-cracking, smart-ass fans have come to know and love. Likewise, Lupica’s plotting is absolutely outstanding. Misdirection, suspense, tension, and plenty of twists and turns fill the pages, and a crossover with one of Parker’s other characters proves to be the proverbial cherry on top.

If Mike Lupica hasn’t yet taken a bow, he should. Grudge Match is one of the strongest books set in Parker’s universe since his passing, and as long as Lipica’s at the helm, fans should expect plenty more must-read adventures.

Book Details

Author: Mike Lupica
Series: Sunny Randall #8
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0525539328
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10

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Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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