Barbara Parker was born on the 28th of January 1947, in Columbia, South Carolina, United States of America. Parker was an American author, mostly in the mystery genre.
Throughout her life, Barbara wrote a total of twelve novels. Parker was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, but lived in North Carolina prior to moving, along with her family, to Florida. In Florida, she went to the University of South Florida, where she majored in the theatre arts.
Parker also earned her legal degree at the University of Miami School of Law. Upon graduating, Parker became a prosecutor in the state attorney’s office of Florida. She, then, spent 8 years running her very own legal practice.
Soon, however, she left her law practice and started to work as a paralegal. She intended to work as a paralegal as means to acquire enough money so that she can practice on her writing.
Oftentimes, she’d write while on her commute towards Miami. Her thesis for her master’s degree – received from the Florida International University – was what became her most well-known novel ‘Suspicion of Innocence’. It was even a finalist for the Edgar Award for best mystery novel by an American writer. As Barbara’s novels are one of the most intriguing entries towards the mystery genre, we will now take a look at what the best Barbara Parker books are.
Suspicion of Innocence Book Series
Suspicion of Innocence was Barbara Parker’s first novel, published in 1994. Though it reads like a stand- alone novel, it is actually a part of Barbara’s Gail Connor and Anthony Quintana series. The series contains the following books:
- Suspicion of Innocence, published in 1994.
- Suspicion of Guilt, published in 1995.
- Suspicion of Deceit, published in 1998.
- Suspicion of Betrayal, published in 1999.
- Suspicion of Malice, published in 2000.
- Suspicion of Vengeance, published in 2001.
- Suspicion of Madness, published in 2003.
- Suspicion of Rage, published in 2005.
Suspicion of Innocence is a novel centered around the striking circumstances that came over young attorney Gail Connor. What’s happened is that the estranged sister of Gail was found dead, right after a party that Gail attended with the freshly slayed woman at their mother’s home. What’s even stranger is that there is some evidence, right off the bat, pointing to the fact that the death might have been out of someone’s malicious intent.
Gail is left in an extremely dumbfounded situation: she can’t reconcile with the complex relationship she had with her sister. Something else to add concern where concern is in abundance is her relationship with Anthony Guintana, a criminal attorney. Brimming with twists, the novel is one for the mysterious ages.
The second book sees Gail attempting to get back to normalcy as she takes on the biggest case of her life, but there’s certainly something waiting in the trenches even now. What seems a very plain case soon turns into a mess that will change the landscape of Miami, as well as our heroine.
In the following books we see Gail’s daughter as she is stalked, plentiful murders and cases, and much more! The series, as a whole, features some of the best Barbara Parker books, ever.
The Perfect Fake
He is trying to start his career as a graphic artist, yet his probation officer doesn’t agree in the slightest bit. In fact, the officer at hand thinks that Tom’s place is only in the big house.
However, a certain offer tickles Tom’s interest in more ways than one. Real estate developer Stuart Barlowe offers Tom a deal for $50,000 to go to Italy. The catch? Duplicate an exceedingly rare Renaissance map.
Tom considers the offer since it’d be a great way to get rid of his other troubles. That is until Barlowe reveals that his daughter, Alison, is going to supervise the whole thing. Tom and Alison are acquainted already, they’d even been in love once upon a time.
Tom comes to the conclusion that Barlowe isn’t after a duplicate, but a forged copy. Soon people start dying and the duo deduce that they’re being followed by some two secretive men.
Just like that, Alison and Tom are left to each other so as to make it out alive. The book boasts a large cast of characters, all of whom are intriguingly connected, some by partnerships, some by criminal activities. Genuinely one of the best Barbara Parker’s books to date.
The Dark of Day
She was writing a book named The Reckoning, but she sadly departed prior to getting the chance to finish it and dazzle audiences even more so. Still The Dark of Day is more than enough of a treat.
The Dark of Day is a very tight murder story made into an effective suspense novel. It takes place in South Florida, most prominently around the South Beach area. The protagonist – the high-profile defense attorney present in most Parker novels – is C. J. Dunn.
Dunn, however, is often seen with dirty politicians, honchos, porn-stars, connoisseurs, and the like. Soon enough, like a brewing storm – waiting to set upon a couple of lives –, a supermodel is found dead. A congressman is the first to get the suspicious eye thrown at him by the public, so Dunn is, of course, going to be his attorney.
The reason why Dunn even considered, let alone accepted the offer, is because the congressman promised her an audition for a CNN crime-type of show. What ensues is a deep, intricate web that Dunn finds herself in as her own life is subject to the most unwanted of incidents. C. J. Dunn is one of Parker’s most fascinating protagonists.
Ambitious and unflinching, she walks out of the storm, which, to no avail, must pass, like it or not. Truly one of the best Barbara Parker books, to date.
Criminal Justice by Barbara Parker was published in 1997, only the second of Parkers stand-alone works. We have our main character, Dan Galindo. Dan used to be a persecutor. However, he lost his job after he refused to call upon a witness to the stand – Dan knew that the witness was less than genuine.
At the present moment, Dans working with a friend of his, and this business relationship gets him involved with the DEA, several drug lords, even a rock band.
If the book has any kind of a fault, characters and the action definitely aren’t. Featuring a large variety of characters, all with their own distinct voice, the book is just awesome. The story is set in Miami of the 1990s. While Dan once lived a luxurious life with his beautiful wife, he no longer does.
His, now, ex-wife still does, though Dan is in a small apartment. He can’t even find a nice job because of what happened. To top it all off, Dan can’t even see his own son often enough.
Dan’s girlfriend – who, as of recently, was in a band trying to get traction and get discovered – is crudely murdered in his apartment after leaving him a message. Suspicion falls upon Dan, of course. The only thing that he can do, now, is find the culprit himself.
As nothing in Dan’s life has been easy, this feat that he’s going to attempt, won’t be a lightweight one. Though it is one of Parker’s earlier efforts, it candidly is one of Barbara Parker’s best books.
Barbara Parker’s first stand-alone novel, Blood Relations, was published more than twenty-five years ago, in 1994. It should come to no surprise that the setting is in the South Beach area of South Florida. Here, in true 1990s fashion, all of the high rollers like to come out and get going as soon as night falls.
The novel starts out in this kind of an area, where a young model is going to a party after she was invited by her drug-dealer boyfriend. The always genuine boyfriend grants her some pills while leading her to a VIP lounge.
Faster than she can blink, the young girl is being raped by several men, then upon her visible struggle, she is thrown out. Two of the men that assaulted her are well-known players from the area.
The State Attorney, however, is unwilling to take up the case because of their own fame. Instead, the case is given to Sam Hagen, a persecutor. Sam is rather experienced, having been in the Felony crime section for the better part of twenty years.
Soon enough, everything takes a turn for the worse, as the State Attorney’s wish for it to go away doesn’t come to fruition. It cannot be stated enough how interesting the book is. All of the things that it has to say will mean something for the individual reader.
Unfortunately, Barbara passed away at a hospice in Boca Raton, Florida, on the 7th of March 2009. Barbara Parker’s best books and her life work is an extensive one, having more mysteries than one can hope to understand and appreciate in their lifetime.