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Night Passage (Jesse Stone Novels) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 340 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Fans often feel uneasy when the creator of a popular character ventures into new turf, and sometimes their trepidation is justified. But readers of Robert B. Parker's immensely popular Spenser series can breathe a sigh of relief: while Night Passage doesn't feature Spenser, his usual gang of associates, or a Boston setting, it's vintage Parker--fast, witty, suspenseful, and engaging. Told in short, crisp chapters, it's the story of Jesse Stone, a 34-year-old ex-cop who just lost his L.A. policeman's job and his marriage due to a drinking problem. The book opens as Stone leaves California for his new job as chief of police in the picturesque town of Paradise, Massachusetts.

But Paradise isn't as placid as it seems--in fact, it's a festering mass of petty corruption, right-wing militia, sexual scandal, and bad guys who favor strong-arm tactics. Night Passage boasts a delicious, classic setup: the lone lawman, new in town, must make his stand to clean the place up. Stone has been picked for the job because the town fathers figured he'd be weak and malleable; as he gradually pulls himself together, it turns out they have a surprise in store. Stone's qualities may remind you of Spenser's--he's taciturn, fearless, good-looking, and compassionate--and in the end the plot's pleasing complexities get resolved a bit simply. But Robert B. Parker is in fine form in Night Passage, with his smart-aleck wit under control and his prose at its economical best. Spenser fans and Parker neophytes alike will find plenty to enjoy here. And the setting is, after all, not far from Boston--dare we hope for a Spenser-Stone meeting in future books?

From Library Journal

The creator of the famed Spenser novels introduces a new detective series.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 756 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (July 1 2001)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005F4CCYS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 9 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first of Robert Parker’s books about brooding, small-town police captain Jesse Stone. Jesse was an LA homicide detective who began drinking to dull the pain of his wife’s infidelity. Jenn filed for divorce, Jesse was fired for drinking on the job, and the scene quickly changed from California to Paradise, Massachusetts. Jesse applied for the police chief job because it was a continent away from his ex-wife. But he doesn’t understand why the town council would hire someone with poor references who was embarrassingly drunk in his job interview. Not in a position to be choosey, Jesse Stone accepts the job offer.

Jesse doesn’t clean up the whole town. But he does run off—or run in—a few of its nastier citizens. And he slowly and comically acclimates to the small-town environment. I won’t spoil the story by saying more about the criminals Jesse takes on and how he gets the upper hand. Instead I will mention three odd things about Jesse and his town.

First, Jesse can’t let go of his ex-wife, Jenn. He moved across the country trying to leave her behind. But she is persistently present. She calls him repeatedly to check on his health and happiness. Jesse picks up the phone every time. He will *tell* Jenn it’s a bad idea for them to talk. But he won’t hang up the phone. Bad as this is for Jesse, it is helpful to readers. We learn a great deal about him as he writhes his way through these late-night conversations.

Second, Jesse drinks too much. And too often, and at too many times of the day, and with too many people who he shouldn’t be drinking with. He tells people that he’s a recovered alcoholic. But he still drinks. And drinks. For a while Jesse tells people he is limiting himself to two drinks a day.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is usually not a good sign when a series author decides to branch out to a new series; it usually means that the author himself has become bored with his creation and wishes to stretch his writing muscles a bit with something new. At best, this gives the faithful reader a new reason to enjoy his favorite author. At worst, the previous creation becomes a sort of exercise in frustration as the writer focuses his attention on his new baby.
In Robert B. Parker's case, we get the latter. Parker had already registered his continued contempt for his first creation, Spenser, by allowing the stories to get maudlin and sloppy, the margins to get wider and wider, and by publishing two installments of new Philip Marlowe adventures, as well as creating a new series starring a female private eye named Sunny Randall. To add insult to injury, here are we are now with "Night Passage", a fourth series concerning an L.A. cop named Jesse Stone transplanted to Paradise, Massachusetts, a bucolic little town on the Atlantic Ocean.
Jesse, plagued by drink and a wishy-washy ex-wife, sets out to remake himself as Chief of Policein a town where no one knows his name. But things get confusing when the department cat is murdered, followed by the killing of the previous chief of police and finally, a young, unwed mother. Jesse is, underneath it all, a good cop, so he is able to pull himself together, solve the crimes and have casual sex with a couple of ladies, thereby working on his abandonment issues.
Parker seems intent on making Stone as different from Spenser as possible, but the differences are superficial. Where Spenser is a hulking ex-boxer, Stone is slight.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just recently been fortunate enough to stumble across Robert B. Parker's work, and I must say I'm truly sorry it's taken so long!
I have yet to read any of the Spencer books (I seem to be going in reverse order somehow), and even though this is the first Jesse Stone book, it's the second one I've read. I made the comment after reading Trouble In Paradise that even though it was second in the series, the reader didn't feel lost in Paradise, as it were. That feeling still stands, but I have to admit the background of exactly how Jesse found Paradise does put the second book in a somewhat better perspective. Even though, as another reviewer mentioned, the ending sort of seemed rushed, as if time was up and the pencils had to be put down, in retrospect, it really does set the stage for the next Jesse Stone book.
I can't put my hands on it, but for some reason I felt this book was not written quite as well as the other Parker books I've read, yet it was still very interesting, compelling, and filled with in depth characterizations of the many personalities in Paradise even though while reading it, sometimes it didn't seem that way. OK, breathe, Michael ;)
One of the things I enjoyed about the book were the very short chapters; of course, it didn't stop me from reading the book in a couple of days, since it IS very fast reading, but it's nice to know that if you're reading this at bedtime you can get to a natural break without going 30 pages to finish a chapter.
I'm very much looking forward to reading many more books by Mr. Parker. I hope this review helps you come to the same decision!
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