Page-turner of the week
A psychiatrist goes nuts in the third novel in Parker's Sunny Randall mystery series. Randall, a sexy shamus who dishes out put-downs while sipping Cosmopolitans, has little use for the niceties; she wields a double-barreled shotgun and hops into bed with a Hollywood agent on the first date. This time Randall plays bodyguard to Melanie Joan Hall, a nervous author of high-end bodice rippers who is being stalked by her creepy psychiatrist ex-husband, Dr. John Melvin, during her big-bucks book tour.
Melvin is canny enough to cover his tracks, so Randall goes undercover as a patient of Melvin's, only to stumble upon some insights about her own emotional baggage. Randall also discovers that the bad shrink has been raping his female patients under the guise of establishing trust. Parker's crackling tough-gal dialogue backs a story with plenty of intrigue and suspense. Minor characters add flavor to the stew, especially Spike, Randall's gay pal, who can floor a foe with a right hook or a one-liner. The 37th mystery from Parker zips by more quickly than a 50-minute hour on the couch. (Putnam, $24.95)
Bottom Line: Dandy Rap