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The Parker Shotgun

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Bruce Sander

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of The Parker Shotgun

Sue Grafton
Born on April 24 in Louisville, Kentucky. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a high school chemistry teacher. In junior high and high school, Grafton began to write articles for the student newspapers, and in college, one of her professors encouraged her to write a novel. For a few years, she held various secretarial and clerical jobs, but in her spare time continued to write four book-length manuscripts before seeing publication.
The Title
The title refers to a very rare and classical shotgun, of which only two were ever made, called a Parker. The weapon is named after the man who owned a business manufacturing guns. The shotgun serves as the murder weapon in the story.
The narrator of this story is Kinsey Millhone, a PI who lives and works in Santa Teresa, California. The narrator is reliable because she ends up being the one to solve the story, and she does not hold biased views throughout the story.
Thematic Elements
The main theme I found throughout the story is covetousness. Both Rudd and Bill wanted the Parker Shotgun, and Bill even went to the extreme length of murder to acquire it.
The Parker Shotgun
The main symbol in the story is the murder weapon itself. It serves as the form of justice at the end of the story in the form of financial restitution to the widow, Lisa, and is also a symbol of redemption, as the reformed drug dealer, Rudd Osterling, was planning to sell it to support his new-born son.
The introduction focuses on Kinsey taking on the investigation of the murder of Lisa Osterling's husband, who is a former drug dealer, Rudd Osterling. Lisa is convinced that the police have not caught the real killer and wants justice and the true story to come to light before she has her baby. The conclusion focuses on Kinsey identifying the old man and collector of antique guns, Bill Squires as the culprit. Kinsey gives the Parker shotgun, worth $96,000, to Lisa as restitution because she believes the police will never believe that a stroke victim is the true murderer and that "justice is served in other ways."
Overall I did not really enjoy reading this story. The whole aspect with the stroke causing the murderer to become such a pitiful human being did not come across as an enjoyable story. I did enjoy reading about the shotgun details, and I can appreciate the story for being a classic, but I just did not enjoy reading it.
Overall, I enjoyed the story because I enjoyed the fearless and forward investigative tactics and thought processes of the main character, Kinsey. I was also satisfied with her unique form of justice at the end of the story when she gives the shotgun to the soon-to-be mother, Lisa. I felt the story sent a strong message that justice is served no matter what.
Another symbol of this story is what the gun represents. Guns are a source of power, and both Rudd and Bill were hungry for it. Power hungry people usually end up having some tragic death in most stories, don't they?
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