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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books; Unabridged edition (Sept. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597770191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597770194
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 15.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,618,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

With assured confidence and a master's economy of means, Robert B. Parker, who is best known for his Spenser series, delivers one of his finest, most absorbing works yet. This third entry in the Jesse Stone series finds Stone--a former LAPD cop fired for drinking on the job--serving as chief of police in the town of Paradise, Massachusetts, and investigating the murder of a teenaged girl whose decomposed body turns up in the local lake. As he follows slender threads of evidence into an ugly world of exploited teens, several subplots crisscross, keeping things lively.

But Jesse's struggle with alcohol and his loving, troubled relationship with his ex-wife are at least as compelling as the external plot events. Parker doesn't usually give his characters much of an inner life, but here--in deftly compressed prose, much of it dialog--he paints an understated, believable portrait of a tough guy grappling with tough issues. This smooth-reading book goes down easy but packs a surprising wallop. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Melancholy shadows this third, beautifully wrought Jesse Stone mystery; rarely if ever has Parker's fiction conveyed with such solemn intensity the challenge of living a good life in a world of sin. Jesse, erstwhile drunk and now sheriff of small-town Paradise, Mass., tackles two criminal and two personal mysteries here: the murder of a teenage girl found shot dead in a local lake, and the chronic beating of a local wife by her husband; the conundrum of Jesse's attraction to alcohol, and the mess of his love life, shaped by his dependence upon his estranged wife but encompassing a highly sexed affair with a school principal. The search for the identity and the killer of the girl brings Jesse, as such investigations traditionally do, into the realm of high society the prime suspect is a bestselling writer but also to the mean streets of Boston, where the sheriff parries with Gino Fish and Vinnie Morris (outlaws borrowed from the Spenser series). Dogged police work, a hot-to-trot wife, child prostitutes, the solace of baseball, hard-guy banter these and more classic elements inform and bolster this immensely satisfying tale. As usual with Parker these days, though, the book's ultimate pleasure lies in the words, suffused with a tough compassion won only through years of living, presented in prose whose impeccability speaks of decades of careful writing. (Oct.)Forecast: This is Parker's third outstanding novel of the year, after Potshot and Gunman's Rhapsody. To promote it, he plans a vigorous author tour. Expect high interest and sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 21 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the third book in Robert Parker’s series about small-town police Chief and big-time alcoholic Jesse Stone. It follows Trouble in Paradise and is followed in turn by Stone Cold. Jesse continues his off-again, off-again relationship with his ex-wife Jenn. She is selfish, ambitions, and emotionally toxic. Jesse can’t stop loving her and can’t stop chasing the possibility that she might start to love him. Tedious.

Fortunately the two major cases Jesse tackles are more interesting, though just as dark. The townie conflict is a recurring domestic abuse case. The husband gets drunk and beats his wife. The wife thinks she doesn’t have any other options and won’t press charges. Jesse and his fellow officers also try to solve the murder of a young girl found in the marsh. The trail leads into Boston—which finally seems as close as it should be—and into the criminal enterprises of one Gino Fish. Et cetera.

Jesse’s ongoing issues are dark and draining, though also oddly comfortable. The cases are engaging and have their little surprises. It’s a good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert B. Parker is one of my guilty pleasures. Whether it is his long running Spenser series, or the two new series he has started featuring Sunny Randall or Jessie Stone, the books are all pretty much the same. Mr. Parker can be counted on to tell an interesting, relatively simplistic story where evil walks among us and will be struck down as fast as possible. Much like a great Steven Segal movie, the hero will do this almost single handily without a hair out of place and our hero is always a sure hit among the many ladies. When you don't want to have to think to follow along as a reader and you want a guaranteed escape from current reality, Mr. Parker is sure to come up with some enjoyable mind candy. This offering serves as yet another case in point.
Mr. Parker returns to the mean streets of small town life in Paradise, Massachusetts in his recent novel featuring Jesse Stone. Jesse is still the chief of Police and still torn by his love of drink as well as his love for his ex-wife, Jenn. Following up on his theme in Trouble In Paradise, the previous novel of the series, Jesse is still fighting the good fight. He wants Jenn back in the worst way, but is trying to stay strong in his resolve to allow her to find her own life and then decide if he still belongs. Their Wednesday night dates are still on and they remain open to seeing other partners. At the same time, he is still battling the idea that he is an alcoholic and that he will have to deal with it.
Both issues get pushed slightly backward as a body is discovered floating in the lake after a softball game. Jesse thinks he knows who it is and suspects that it is the body of a young teenage runaway. But her family won't acknowledge that she ever existed and due to the condition of the body, identification will take time.
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Format: Hardcover
As this series continues, this novel may well portray crucial developments in Stone's life and career, but it fails to satisfy as a crime novel.
Jesse Stone faced a home-grown militia group in his debut novel, followed by a group of cold-blooded criminals pulling off a spectacular robbery in the second. So the murder of a 14 year old girl who's been disowned by her parents due to promiscuous behavior seems rather pedestrian in comparison.
Indeed, the girl Billie's parents, her former boy friend, and her high school principal have little interest. Unfortunately, Parker doesn't seem terribly interested either since we really don't get to know the girl.
However, the focus on Stone's drinking may be a crucial development in the series. Other people's problem drinking is involved in two incidental plotlines, and, along with Jenn's encouragement, may be what it takes to drive Jesse to accept counciling for his own problem.
There are a couple of other developments. After Gino Fish and Vinnie Morris appearing in the two previous books without actually meeting Stone, he meets them face to face for the first time.
There's also development in the relationship between the Chief and his main assistant. Spenser of course has Hawk, and Sunny Randall has her strong support. Jesse Stone has--Suitcase Simpson? Seems like he got shortchanged, but Suitcase does show promise. He still has a bit to go, but under the Chief's tutelage, he might be a respectable police officer yet.
I can't recommend this as a mystery, but do advise Parker fans to read it anyway because it does seem to be leading someplace.
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By A Customer on Feb. 11 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Spenser is a connoisseur of fine wine and beer who has never been drunk. Jesse Stone is a drunk who can't quit even though he's lost his job and ended up in Podunk, his last chance professionally.
Spenser is erudite, quoting poets and philosophers. Stone never went to college and doesn't think he's read 476 pages in his whole life.
Spenser is unfailing insightful and psychological astute, self-aware and ruthlessly honest about his motives and emotions. Stone doesn't know much about his feelings or even think to look into his motives.
Spenser is heroically principled, devoted to Susan no matter what, a man's man who is also a commmited feminist. Stone is a skirt-chaser who is pathetically enmeshed in a relationship with his catting-around ex-wife.
Spenser proceeds by pushing and shaking and seeing what turns up. Stone doesn't want to jostle anyone until he understands everything and can "get 'em all."
Well, you get the picture. Basically, point by point Parker created the antithesis of Spenser. And I find him tiresome and uninteresting.
In my opinion, the weakest of the Spenser novels are more intricately plotted than this book--which lacks much of anything in the way of red herrings or dramatic tension. Stone faces an obvious dark mirror image of himself in the Snyders, a subplot that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the mystery, that never even intersects it main plot, that is just stuck in to let Stone have a moment of self-knowledge--of sorts. The whole book is like that--a lot of plot lines and devices alongside each other without cohering or supporting ach other. To me, this just feels like an author thinking, "Okay, I want to make point x, and what would make point x?
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