Blue Screen (novel)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2013)|
|Author||Robert B. Parker|
|Preceded by||Melancholy Baby|
|Followed by||Spare Change|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (April 2010)|
The novel begins when Sunny Randall is approached by Buddy Bolen to provide protection for his number one client, Erin Flint. Ms. Flint is the star of the Woman Warrior movie series and future star of Bolen’s major league baseball team. Ms. Flint initially hates the idea of Sunny following her around but begrudgingly agrees to the arrangement at Buddy’s behest. Bolen’s fears seem to have been well founded when Erin’s assistant, Misty, is murdered. Because of Misty’s striking resemblance to her, Erin is convinced the killer was after her. Sunny meets Paradise Police Chief Jesse Stone at the scene of the crime; however Buddy and Erin lack confidence in the Paradise police, and ask Sunny to solve the crime.
Sunny travels to L.A. where she meets her friend Tony Gault, a Hollywood agent with whom she has a casual sexual relationship. He puts her in touch with a sports writer who is convinced that Erin Flint’s addition to Buddy Bolen’s baseball team is a publicity stunt. It is his opinion that the baseball team was a bad buy on Bolen’s part because they have no market or fan base. Neither does he believe that Erin will be able to compete with the male players in the major league. He does think, however, that the publicity will generate enough interest in the team to allow Bolen to dump his bad investment. He proves to be right later when Erin faces a major league pitcher and cannot hit one ball.
Next, Sunny contacts Chief Stone back in Paradise who puts her in contact with his old boss, LAPD police Captain Cronjager. After some investigation with the LAPD, Sunny discovers that Erin Flint is actually Ethel Boverini, and Misty Tyler was her sister Edith. She also discovers that Erin is still married to L.A. pimp Gerard Basgall. Sunny and an LAPD detective go to question Basgall who admits to still being married to Erin and still loving her. He also admits to visiting her regularly, and that his last visit was around the time Misty was murdered. Sunny flies back to Paradise, where she reveals this information to Chief Stone. Stone then confronts Erin with the information who breaks down, but later calms down and admits that she was one of Basgall’s prostitutes, as well as his wife. She and her sister began working for him after their mother died.
Further investigation, and another trip to L.A. with Chief Stone this time, reveals more information. It turns out that Buddy Bolen was looking for financing for his first Woman Warrior movie. Meanwhile, Boston mobster Moon Monaghan had a lot of cash that he was looking to invest quietly. L.A. film financier Arlo Delany puts the two together. He also sweetens the deal by getting Buddy Bolen a sister combo of prostitutes to be at his beck and call. The girls also occasionally have sex with Moon Monaghan although Moon denies it when questioned. The girls turn out to be Erin Flint and Misty Tyler. Later, Buddy decides to star Erin in his Woman Warrior movie. The movie turns out to be a big hit; however Buddy has Arlo cook the books to make it look like it made no money in order to stiff Moon Monaghan. Moon gets wind of this and has Arlo killed as a warning to Buddy of what will happen if he doesn’t get his money back. Misty gets scared and threatens to go to the police. Erin calls Gerard to come out and talk some sense into her. They get into an argument and during the struggle he accidentally breaks Misty’s neck and kills her. Chief Stone and Sunny confront Erin and Gerard about this. Gerard claims that he killed Misty, while Erin claims that she killed her. Touched by the fact that the two try to protect the each other by taking the blame, Chief Stone decides they have suffered enough and lets them go on the condition that they promise not to avenge her.
A subplot involves Sunny's relationship with Jesse Stone. After meeting, the two start seeing each other. Jesse confides in Sunny that his ex-wife, with whom he had been trying to reconcile, had begun cheating on him again; this time sleeping with her station manager. Sunny has sex with Jesse, but then they decide to slow down. Sunny still has feelings for her ex-husband, Richie, even though he has remarried. However, Richie’s mobster uncle tells her that Richie’s wife is pregnant. After this revelation she finally realizes it is over between them and feels free to pursue her relationship with Jesse. Later, while investigating in L.A. she and Jesse have sex in a store fitting room on Rodeo drive. The two become closer and closer, and by the end of the novel confess their love for each other.
- Parker, Robert B. (2006). Blue Screen. New York, New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-21598-9
- Page on the book on Parker's official website