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A storm of media attention rains down on the small town of Paradise, Mass., and local police chief Jesse Stone when a famous national talk show host is shot and left hanging from a tree. To add to his troubles, Stone's ex-wife, Jennifer, is seeking his protection against a stalker/rapist. Overwhelmed, Stone asks current girlfriend, Boston PI Sunny Randall, to watch over Jennifer while he tries to solve the two murders. Over the years Parker has honed his writing into its own minimalist art form, conveying more meaning in one line than many authors do with pages of prose. Unfortunately, Sowers doesn't handle that prose as well as one might hope. At times his character voices run together, making it difficult to distinguish which character is talking in a scene. And, even though he has a fine speaking voice, he misses the clipped, cynical delivery that gives the Parker books their cool, dry wit.
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*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.