My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the latest of Parker's well-written books and he hasn't lost his touch. "Crazy Blood", set in the city of Mammoth Lakes, California focuses on half-brothers Sky Carson and Wylie Welborn. Both are excellent skiers and fierce competitors, with a dislike for each other that bubbles over in every encounter. Wylie and Sky have the same father, Richard Carson. Sky's mother, Cynthia, was pregnant with him when she found that her husband Richard was having an affair with his ski student Kathleen. Cynthia shot and killed Richard, gave birth to Sky in prison, while Kathleen gave birth to Wylie. Wylie returns to Mammoth Lakes after a five year absence in the military. Cynthia's out of prison and Kathleen has married and has two more children. Kathleen and her husband eke out a living with their little coffee shop "Let It Bean" which is rapidly losing business to Gargantua Coffee, a chain which has established itself in Mammoth Lakes. Both Sky and Wylie are preparing for the Mammoth Lakes ski championship, which Wylie won before he went into the service. As usual in Parker's books, most of the characters are troubled and flawed. Sky believes that Wylie purposely knocked him off course in a trial run and now wants revenge, threatening Wylie at every opportunity. Both are preparing for the next competition, with the winner having a chance for the Olympics. Complicating matters is champion ski boarder April Holly, training for the Olympics. She and Wylie soon become a couple. Wylie refuses to take Sky's threats seriously although it's clear Sky is a disturbed person who suffers from depression and hallucinations and could be capable of anything. Wylie devotes his time to practice, keeping his two sisters out of trouble, and trying to help his mother's coffee shop stay afloat. There is plenty of ski action within this drama, and an ending that is a twist you won't suspect. This is a novel that's hard to put down.
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