Ever notice that some books have titles with absolutely no meaning? You get done reading, probably without ever giving the title a thought, and then close the book, look at the cover and wonder "What does that title have to do with story?" Not the case with Robert B. Parker's aptly named Split Image - It's two... two... two books in one!
Two murders in the little town of Paradise, MA, lead Police Chief Jesse Stone to a set of identical twins with matching mobster husbands and a fetish for tag-team sports. A missing teen leads P.I. Sunny Randall to Paradise and a religious commune that may not be what it seems. A double mystery, a pair of investigators and duplicate suspects = one good book.
But wait...there's more! It's a crime novel AND a romance novel. The developing relationship between Jesse and Sunny is actually half the story. As I have mentioned at least twice before (here and here), I admire Parker's knack for writing characters and relationships that are not one- (or even two-) dimensional. Both Jesse and Sunny make progress in dealing with their "ex" issues, Jesse gets a better grip on his drinking, and their relationship matures, but this is not a sit-com where everything is wrapped up neatly in thirty minutes. Unfortunately, with the passing of Mr. Parker, we will probably each have to write our own ending.
I give this book two thumbs up!