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High Profile [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 4 2008 Jesse Stone Novels
The murder of a notorious public figure places Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone in the harsh glare of the media spotlight.

When the body of controversial talk-show host Walton Weeks is discovered hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Paradise, police chief Jesse Stone finds himself at the center of a highly public case, forcing him to deal with small-minded local officials and national media scrutiny. When another dead body-that of a young woman-is discovered just a few days later, the pressure becomes almost unbearable.

Two victims in less than a week should provide a host of clues, but all Jesse runs into are dead ends. But what may be the most disturbing aspect of these murders is the fact that no one seems to care-not a single one of Weeks's ex-wives, not the family of the girl. And when the medical examiner reveals a heartbreaking link between the two departed souls, the mystery only deepens.

Despite Weeks's reputation and the girl's tender age, Jesse is hard-pressed to find legitimate suspects. Though the crimes are perhaps the most gruesome Jesse has ever witnessed, it is the malevolence behind them that makes them all the more frightening. Forced to delve into a world of stormy relationships, Jesse soon comes to realize that knowing whom he can trust is indeed a matter of life and death.

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High Profile + Stone Cold + Stranger In Paradise
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The murder of Walton Weeks, a Rush Limbaugh–like political commentator in sleepy Paradise, Mass., drives the action of bestseller Parker's competent whodunit, a sequel of sorts to Blue Screen (2006), which first paired two of the authors' non-Parker series characters—Jess Stone, an ex-LAPD detective trying to resurrect his career as Paradise's police chief, and PI Sunny Randall—with predictable romantic results. After a stalker sexually assaults Stone's ex-wife, Jenn, Stone asks Randall to serve as Jenn's bodyguard. Stone finds himself under atypical media and political scrutiny, especially after Weeks's pregnant mistress is also found dead in Paradise. Both Stone and Randall are still weighed down with significant emotional baggage from their exes, and it's Parker's exploration of their ambivalent relationship that is this book's strength. The plot, however, is much less developed than Jane Haddam's Hardscrabble Road (2006), which likewise featured the murder of a right-wing radio commentator. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Walton Weeks is a one-man media empire. He hosts a popular national radio gabfest, writes a newspaper column, and churns out best-selling books. At least he did until someone shot him and left him hanging from a tree in Paradise, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, the body of Weeks' pregnant lover is discovered in a nearby dumpster. Paradise police chief Jesse Stone fends off pressure from the governor and the state police in order to solve the high-profile case with the resources of his 12-person force. The potential suspects include two ex-wives, a widow, a bodyguard, and assorted staff members. Stone's problem is determining a motive. In a parallel plot, Stone attends to the needs of his ex-wife, Jenn, who alleges she was raped and claims she is being stalked by her attacker. Unable to cope with the murders and the rape, Stone calls on private investigator Sunny Randall--a sometime lover--to help with Jenn. Obsessive, sometimes unhealthy love is a recurring theme in Parker's work. In his Spenser novels, the protagonist and his lover have come through the tough times intact. Stone and Jenn have a strong but deleterious bond and are in the midst of a trying emotional journey to an unknown destination. This is Parker's most complex, ambitious novel in years. Spenser is always the toughest, coolest guy in the room. Jesse Stone sometimes seems like the toughest, coolest guy in the room, but he knows he's not. Great reading from an old hand who hasn't lost his touch. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bonds of Matrimony Feb. 28 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Pick up a Robert Parker book and you expect a mystery, some action, and witty dialogue. Sometimes the order of importance changes among those three elements. In the background, there will be rumblings about the nature of friendship, love, and commitment.

HIGH PROFILE adds a new dimension to the primary mix: relationships. HIGH PROFILE could be best characterized as relationships, dialogue, mystery, and action. For those who will like this book, only the first element, relationships, will count. Those who won't like the book will be annoyed that there's not enough mystery, action, and witty dialogue.

When most people marry in the United States, they promise to stay together "until death do us part." With the current divorce rate, a more accurate statement would be to promise to remain wedded "until divorce or death do us part."

Robert B. Parker has decided to take the original oaths seriously in this novel: What if we remain connected primarily to those we marry until we die . . . even if we become separated or divorced? Those connections might be based in part on our vows, our understanding of one another's needs, mutual sympathy, and an interpersonal dynamic that helps one another get through life. In this story, that question is examined from the perspective of every once-married character in the book. I found it to be fascinating. If you like serious novels about relationships, I think you'll find HIGH PROFILE to be rewarding whether or not you agree with the point that Mr. Parker has to make.

Here's the surface story. Jesse Stone has been seeing Sunny Randall (see BLUE SCREEN if you want to know the background). Jesse's ex-wife, Jenn, has gone off to pursue her career, one bedroom at a time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Triangles, Bad Chices March 22 2007
By Pol Sixe TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Jesse Stone's personal life comes to a crux with Jenn and Sunny brought together all the while a high profile double murder investigation takes place. Some nice plotting with the murder and great repartee with Molly and Suitcase - the running "detective" gag is well played out. Now, pers opinion but, what really is there to like about Jenn? More and more she's written out as a round-heeled airhead careerist. Enough to drive a strong man to drink! Also, guessing that the next Sunny Randall tale will (should?) go back and explore Richie...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Author Jan. 21 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
All of Robert B. Parker's novels are a definite must read - from the very first book in each character's series to the last.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 13 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  183 reviews
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Main Character in a Great Environment Feb. 15 2007
By Lisa Shea - Published on Amazon.com
Jesse Stone is an interesting character for those of us who have followed Robert B Parker since his first books. In some ways, Jesse's hard drinking of whiskey and bed-hopping is very similar to Spenser's early days. In other ways, Jesse's style is a duplicate of modern Spenser. You hear the exact same vocabulary describing situations, the type of characters around him is pretty much the same, his sensibilities, history and focus in life is very similar.

For a tiny town in coastal Massachusetts that has rarely seen murders until Jesse appeared, he appears to have the Curse of the Ages. Every year there are serial murders, bodies dropping dead left and right, in very bizarre circumstances. They've barely recovered from last year when they find both a man hung from a tree and a pregnant woman lying in a dumpster. Poor Jesse is just getting the basics set on these when his ex-wife Jenn calls - she's been raped, and she wants Jesse at her side 24x7.

In a typical Parker twist which seems a little farfetched, Jesse immediately thinks that the best way to manage his life is to call on his current girlfriend, Sunny, who he's in love with, to watch over and take care of his ex-wife. That sets us up for many scenes of Sunny telling Jenn about Jesse, Jenn telling Sunny about her feelings, Sunny telling Jesse what Jenn thinks about Jesse, and many other permutations. In the meantime, they do a little detecting, the State Police wave every once in a while, the Governor makes a few feeble threats, and they figure out who does what in which room with which weapon.

It's intriguing that my boyfriend feels Jesse is pretty much a Spenser clone. Again, the use of pretty much the exact same terms and words, the same responses to situations and the same general range of interests makes them brothers, if not clones. On the other hand, I do appreciate the ways in which Parker tries to differentiate them a bit. Spenser was stubbornly loyal, good at fighting but dispassionate, and a medium drinker. Jesse is stubbornly loyal, good at fighting and with a dark streak, and a heavy drinker. Where Spenser would find a way to disarm an opponent or defuse the situation, Jesse plugs the guy several times in the chest. Spenser hears of a situation and finds way to prepare for trouble. Jesse reacts viscerally with surging adrenaline, preparing for instant action.

In many ways this book reminded me strongly of Walking Shadow, a book with certain characters I hated. I tried not to let that influence me too much in this one, but just as I hated the ending of Walking Shadow, I really hated the ending here. It's hard to talk about it without giving away a section of the book's plot. Let's just say there are numerous parts of the ending that I hated, for different reasons. A big part of what I dislike is the underlying message of "real love is innately an obsession - you stay even if your mind knows it's wrong". So this means that women beaten by their husbands should stay? Love is NOT about obsession. Love is when feelings *and* rational thought are together saying the same thing. If your mind is telling you this is wrong and unhealthy - and you stay anyway - that's not love. I'm sure with psychotherapists lurking in every corner of these books, that someone would explain clearly what that amounts to.

So where does this leave me? Parker explicitly set Jesse up to be a much more flawed character than Spenser, perhaps to ward off complaints by some that Spenser had turned into a veritable saint. I'm all for flawed characters. Heck, Jesse drinks heavily, has flashes of rage, has unresolved issues. He makes poor decisions in life. Really, this addresses the complaints rather nicely. So what are my issues? That he's too flawed? That he's flawed in ways that I don't enjoy reading about? That he'd be better as a nearly-perfect Spenser clone with only some odd problems? I know Jesse's flaws do frustrate me. But I also accept that it's nice to have non-Hollywood endings and an imperfect world. I think my main issue is that his flaw involves "stay with a harmful person even when you know it's harmful, because you call the obsession 'love'". That bugs me a great deal.

Still, I love the world of Massachusetts that these stories are set in. I love the diversity of characters that Jesse runs into, the large soap opera style world full of people we know, understand and have a full history of. I like that there are bright, capable women shown in many aspects of life, mixed right in with the insipid, shallow ones. I'll certainly keep reading all of the series to see what goes on with the world.

I guess I have to say that by the end of this specific story, through, I'd lost some respect for Jesse. As much as this is a fictional story, Jesse ends up being a role model for many people, and the stories affect how people think about life and love. I really don't like the message it's sending right now.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Parker dialogue, characters who just won't get over their problems June 15 2007
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Two bodies, one deliberately hung and one hidden in a trash dumpster, turn up in Paradise, MA police chief Jesse Stone's jurisdiction, both shot with the same gun. Jesse investigates, but it seems that every potential suspect has a perfect alibi. Could a deranged fan have killed the well-known and controversial radio talk show commentor? Or perhaps it was one of his current or past wives? Then again, what, exactly, did the dead man's bodyguard do--and why wasn't he doing it when his client was killed?

Stone's investigation is disturbed when his ex-wife forces herself into the scene with a story of rape and stalking. Busy with the double murder, Stone asks his semi-girlfriend, private detective Sunny Randall, to protect his ex-wife and to investigate her story.

Author Robert B. Parker delivers his trademark high-zing dialogue, coupled with his typically psychologically damaged characters. Stone is distracted by his ex-wife's problems, and continues to be obsessed with her, unable to complete the break he needs to move forward in his life. Jenn, the ex-wife makes things tougher for him by pushing herself at him while remaining completely unwilling to offer him the kind of commitment he demands.

With Parker, you can depend on an engaging, fast-paced read. His dialogue runs, with short phrases, single words, and clever zings let our eyes fly down the page, stopping occasionally to enjoy an especially cute bit of reparte. The mystery itself is interesting although relatively uncomplicated with little sense of danger. With Jesse more worried about his wife than about the two dead people, it's hard for us to care too much whether their killer is ever caught.

The underlying theme of this novel, that love is irrational and causes people to do irrational things, doesn't sit well with me and I confess that my enjoyment of the book was limited by this message. In my opinion, Jesse needs a new psychologist--one who'll tell him to grow up and stop jerking himself around, or letting the sexy Jenn jerk him around. Clearly Jenn is disturbed. But Jesse's attraction to her indicates that he's got problems also--and although he's seeing a psychologist, the guy doesn't seem to be helping much. So, switch psychologists and find yourself a woman who's not sick. Sunny won't do--she's got the same damned problems you do, Jesse--which is probably why you were attracted to her.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - Love Parker's dialogue, bored with the relationships June 12 2007
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
First Sentence: Each spring surprised Jesse.

A high-profile talk-show host is found hanged in the park. His assistant/girlfriend is found dead in a dumpster. As if Police Chief Jesse Stone doesn't have enough with two murders, his ex-wife, Jenn, calls to say she was raped and is being stalked. While Jesse investigates the murders, Sunny Randall, with whom he has been building a relationship, agrees to stay with Jenn and find the stalker.

I love Parker's writing but his stories are starting to bore me, which is a shame. I will always say he is the master of dialogue, even the laconic Jesse, whom Parker offsets with Suit, the young policeman and the best character in the story. The murders and their investigation is interesting. But I could do completely without the can't-live-with, can't-live-without relationships. It wasn't a great book, but there was still enough of Parker's classic style that I enjoyed it.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the intelligent reader March 21 2007
By Kathryn S. Hannon - Published on Amazon.com
I'm sorry to be so negative, the only reason it got one star was that there was no option for NO stars.

I have been a RBP fan for many, many years and eagerly awaited the publication of the next of the series, be is Spenser, Sunny, or Jesse. After finishing this one, I flat give up on Jesse. The man is a fool. I agree wholeheartedly with the earlier mention of moving on. Cher should walk up to Jesse and deliver her infamous "Moonstruck" slap to him: "Snap out of it!" I don't care how much you THINK you love someone, it makes no sense -- and very little literary entertainment -- to continue to be such a total dupe. Yes, I like Jesse the police chief; I do not like Jesse the whiner. At all. If someone keeps carrying this hot a torch for such a manipulative, narcissistic ex-wife, he needs more than just psychotherapy -- he needs a lobotomy!

Parker's books for years have had wide margins, larger than normal type, and thicker pages -- obvious padding for basically a short story or novella. Hey, we live in a capitalistic society and if he can keep selling 'em, fine. But I stopped buying quite a few years ago and now check 'em out of the library. Until he gets back to the quality of Looking for Rachel Wallace and Early Autumn, for Spenser, along with Sunny and Jesse, I won't be buying his books. Right now, I'm not sure I have any interest in reading them.

Very disappointing.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, Lazy, Lazy March 11 2007
By J. Aragon - Published on Amazon.com
I read all the glowing reviews and couldn't help but wonder if I read the same book. I read this book in one sitting this evening and it was mediocre at best. I wasn't too keen w/ the last RBP book that I read either.

He seems to be veering down that James Patterson road- thin plot and not much other substance.

And, yet again, his so-called knowledge of women and women's issues had me shaking my head. Is Susan the only positive woman that he can have in his books. Well, Sunny Randall is a stronger character, as well.

I was really disappointed with this book and very glad that my father in law shared it--it was checked out from the library.

I miss the old RBP--with the better, witty writing. The last few books are really beach reads or at the very least get the book at the local library and save your money.
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