Parker, Barbara

Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana
Suspicion of Innocence by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Innocence (1994)
From Library Journal
Gail Connor, an ambitious attorney climbing the corporate ladder at an old Miami law firm, is shaken when her sister Renee's body is found in the Everglades, an apparent suicide. Given Renee's wild lifestyle and history, no one is surprised, but then the police find evidence of foul play. They link Gail's estranged husband, as well as her lover, to Renee's demise; worst of all, Gail herself is their chief suspect. Set among Miami's legal, criminal, and Cuban high flyers, this stylish legal whodunit involves buried artifacts, drug trafficking, and shady politics--in short, all the usual Miami fare. It's a sun-drenched variation on the work of Scott Turow and Patricia Cornwell, whose fans will welcome this newcomer. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/93.
- Ann Donovan, St. Petersburg Jr. Coll. Lib., Fla.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Guilt by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Guilt (1995)
From Publishers Weekly
Returning in this accomplished sequel to Suspicion of Innocence, Miami attorney Gail Connor faces serious career choices. After spirited widow Althea Tillett is found dead in her kitschy Miami home, a number of local charities are positioned to benefit from her will. But Patrick Norris, Althea's nephew and Gail's old law school buddy who had dropped out to do good, suspects the will is a fake. If so, he, as Althea's only survivor, stands to gain all of the multimillion-dollar estate. Gail agrees to represent him, a decision which causes problems at her firm (where she's about to be made partner), with her lover, Anthony Quintana, and in her home life as she struggles to reconcile principle with ambition and cope with the demands of raising her 10-year-old daughter. When the police determine that Althea was murdered, Patrick becomes the prime suspect and Gail is soon searching for a forger and killer. She discovers that many interests are being protected, some of them by Miami's elite. Parker controls her narrative assuredly-she's at her best with boardroom scenes that crackle with tension-and she unabashedly goes after the big finish. While some of the characterization seems cliched, it all fits the steamy Miami setting of power and ambition. Overall, this is a breathlessly paced legal thriller with a powerful punch. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Deceit by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Deceit (1998)
From Library Journal
Like Parker's first two novels (Suspicion of Innocence, LJ 12/93; Suspicion of Guilt, LJ 2/1/95), this thriller thrusts Miami lawyer Gail Connor into perils from which she emerges owing mostly to luck. Gail, now engaged to Cuban exile Anthony Quintera, also a Miami lawyer, provides legal counsel for the Miami Opera. A promising young singer, Thomas Nolan, is to star in Don Giovanni, but his connections with Castro's Cuba may cause trouble for the opera should they become known. From this rather interesting beginning, the plot wanders further and further afield, until the reader yearns for the inevitable murder. Politics, nostalgia of the Miami exile community, and conflicting memories or reports of Gail's fiance and friends bulk out the story, which hovers uneasily between episodes of Gail and Tony's lovemaking and Gail's getting herself into cliched predicaments (donning a wig to stake out her suspect's movements, breaking into the home of the chief suspect). Sadly, this series demeans both women lawyers and Miami Hispanics. Buy only if you live in Florida and have a lavish book budget.
-?Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Svcs., Inc., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Betrayal by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Betrayal (1999)
From Publishers Weekly
Miami lawyer Gail Connor (Suspicion of Deceit), 34, is tough and aggressive ("the only recourse," she says, "is to be a bigger s.o.b. than the next guy"), and as this gripping, dark story unfolds, it's easy to see why somebody is out to get her. Divorced and in a custody battle with her combative ex-husband for their 10-year-old daughter, Karen, Gail is about to be married to Anthony Quintana, a top criminal lawyer from a powerful Cuban-American family that may have ties to organized crime. Gail is also handling a nasty divorce case for Jamie Sweet, whose husband, Wendell, has shady business dealings that might link Quintana to some illegal businesses in Colombia. Gail begins to get menacing phone calls and her car is vandalized. Then Karen is threatened with a grisly death. Who is responsible? As the threats mount and her law practice threatens to spin out of control, Gail begins to have serious doubts about both her ex-husband and Quintana. With a fine combination of romance, cultural clashes and police procedure, plus some razor-sharp portraits, this story develops into a riveting thriller whose only flaw is that the author may tip her hand a bit too early. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Malice by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Malice (2000)
From Publishers Weekly
Florida attorney Parker has produced a new installment in her series of legal thrillers that feature Miami lawyers Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana. Since the previous novel (Suspicion of Betrayal), Gail has split up with her Cuban-born lover, the rich and sleek Quintana. But events conspire to throw them together again when Roger Creswell, the heir to a yacht-building fortune, is shot dead during a wild party. Bobby Gonzalez, a dancer with the Miami City Ballet, is the prime suspect in the murder. Despite her father's opposition, Anthony's teenage daughter, Angela, is taking dance lessons with the ballet company. Having fallen in love with Bobby, Angela asks Gail to help exonerate him. Meanwhile, Anthony is investigating the murder on behalf of a friend of the victim's family. As in her earlier mysteries, Parker serves up an enticing plate of murder and intrigue baked by the hot Florida sun. Gail and Anthony generate more heat and sexual tension, while the painful history of Anthony's Cuban family adds poignancy. This fast-paced story may get overly dramatic at times, but that's more than made up for by its inspired mix of sexy love story, sulky teenagers, family feuds and secrets, dramatic contrasts between different cultures and sharp outbreaks of murder and mayhem. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Vengeance by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Vengeance (2001)
From Publishers Weekly
Once readers are pulled in by the intricate plot of Parker's eighth Gail Connor/Anthony Quintana legal thriller (after Suspicion of Innocence), they won't want to skip a word. The premise is simple enough: Gail is asked to take on the case of an old family friend's grandson, Kenny Ray Clark, who was convicted of the stabbing death of a housewife over a decade earlier, indirectly causing the death of her infant son. Now, after 11 years on death row, his appeals are about to run out. Anthony, Gail's on-again, off-again fianc‚, himself a high-powered Florida attorney, warns her of the futility of trying to save Clark. But Gail digs into the records and finds, among other things, a drunk defense attorney, a bogus confession and a witness who would have provided an alibi but was threatened by police. At the same time, she discovers skeletons in her own family's closet that seem to be linked to Clark's case, as well as a crooked real estate deal and some unsavory individuals who don't want her getting involved. With help from Anthony and her cousin Jackie, an idealistic young cop, she races to expose the flaws in the state's case and challenges the bureaucratic "conveyor belt" mentality of the death penalty. If Parker has an ax to grind here, it is the legal system's determination to put judicial procedure and the public's thirst for vengeance ahead of the sanctity of human life. She is a former prosecutor who knows her way around the system; her characters are complex and believable, all of which makes this multifaceted and thought-provoking mystery one of the better ones this year. (Aug. 6)Forecast: Parker hit bestseller lists with Suspicion of Betrayal and looks poised to do so again, having taken on a hot-button issue without being sensational or exploitative.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Madness by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Madness (2003)
From Publishers Weekly
Miami lawyers Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana head to Key West for a combined romantic vacation and murder investigation in the seventh of Parker's Suspicion series (Suspicion of Vengeance, etc.). As in previous installments, the pressures of the chase test the relationship of the high-powered couple, and Florida's lush landscape adds color to a mystery that makes up in intensity what it lacks in depth. It all begins when wealthy client Martin Greenwald invites Quintana to his resort in the Florida Keys to help his troubled stepson, Billy, who is under suspicion for murder. Certain Billy is innocent, Quintana convinces Connor to join him to share the delights of the island. But they find little time for amusement because as soon as they arrive, they learn Billy has attempted suicide. In quick order, lies and bodies are uncovered, and Connor and Quintana find themselves investigating an aging B-movie starlet, a pair of conniving local lawyers, the client's overextended family and a stuttering handyman who does odd jobs, showing up in the oddest places at the oddest times. The intertwining lives of the characters reflect the Florida culture around them-rich in dreaming, scheming and explosive undercurrents. The surprise ending is no surprise for Hitchcock fans, but former state prosecutor and practicing attorney Parker paces her story well and neatly ties up loose ends. She also heats up the legal intrigue with the fiery romance between Latin lover Quintana and single mom Connor, ensuring that fans-even those who have seen the same movies Parker has-will stay tuned for the next escapade of Miami's tempestuous legal sweethearts.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Suspicion of Rage by Barbara Parker Suspicion of Rage (2005)
From Booklist
Well, here's a surprise: Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana, who have been edging ever closer to marriage through several episodes in Parker's Suspicion series, have finally done the deed--tied the knot during a weekend trip to the Florida Keys, much to the consternation of their respective families. Now they are planning a jaunt to Cuba, Anthony's homeland, but the trip is complicated when the CIA asks Anthony to pass on a message to his brother-in-law, a general, who may be the target of an assassination plot. Further muddling matters, one of the assassins may be the son of two of Anthony's closest friends. This series has been around for a while, but it hasn't yet reached the point where the characters feel too familiar or its plots have drifted into formula. The interpersonal dynamics between Connor and Quintana remain sharp, and the Florida setting continues to add to the appeal. If Parker keeps writing them as smartly as she has written this one, her series may never turn stale. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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