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Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone Novels)
 
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Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Brandman
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Review

'No one understands what makes Bob Parker's Jesse Stone tick better than Michael Brandman - and Michael is just the writer to carry Jesse into the future' Tom Selleck.

Product Description

It’s tourist season in Paradise, Massachusetts. With it comes a baffling and violent crime wave that has residents on edge. It’s also brought a mysterious figure who’s stirring up troubling memories for Chief of Police Jesse Stone—especially when it appears the stranger is out for revenge.



Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 287 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780872895
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (Sept. 13 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054TVWIG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there but on the other hand... April 27 2012
By Pol Sixe TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
In these cases the new author has to put something himself into the story of Jesse Stone our favorite police chief in Paradise Mass. So it was odd at first, I felt the last Parker Stone was a good finale to that series, this is kind of a reboot, Jesse is a little different, Molly comes off as very different, but on the whole not a bad read and has many of the Parker hooks. Moving forward, it looks like another is coming out in Sep 12, Brandman can certainly move it toward the Tom Selleck type Jesse with his own spin on it. I'll probably try another one.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is a disgrace! June 5 2013
By Warbler
Format:Hardcover
I know it is impossible for one author to pick up another author's series and write the books exactly how the previous author did. I knew Brandman's Jesse Stone was going to be different than Parker's. But Brandman didn't even try! The characters here act and talk much differently than they do in Parker's book, and there are inconsistencies in this book as compared to the past stories.

[SPOILER WARNING]
Hasty Hathaway is back and has been reelected as a Paradise Selectman. Brandman, did you even read the first book? HATHAWAY WAS A MURDERER!!!! HE ATTEMPTED TO LEAD AN ARMED INSURRECTION AGAINST THE POLICE!!! HE WAS NUTS!!!! There is no way he'd get reelected, let alone get out of jail so soon. But no only that, Jesse and him are friendly with each other!!! Anyone who read the first book, would know that that is not possible.

The Jesse/Sunny romance was ended way too abruptly. Judging by how the last Parker Jesse Stone book ended, I think Parker had intended to merge the two series and continue the romance between the two of them. But instead of carrying on as Parker would have wanted, Brandman abruptly ends the romance.

In this book, Jesse adopts a new cat. He names it after his favorite high school teacher. Really? In the Parker Books, it is mentioned repeatedly that Jesse hated school. I doubt he'd name a pet after any of his teachers.

At one point in the story, Jesse's house is trashed. No where anywhere in the book is the condition of Jesse's picture of Ozzie Smith mentioned. In describing condition of the trashed house, the Ozzie Smith picture should have been mentioned. This picture is a very important possession of Jesse's.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled." -- Deuteronomy 22:9 (NKJV)

What should happen to a character when the author dies? Usually, that's the end. In a few cases, new authors have been recruited. Usually, the results are disappointing.

Anyone who is looking for Kill the Blues to be a Parker novel can stop reading right now. Not!

Is it an acceptable substitute for a Parker novel? Most people will think not, as well.

Most people who pick up such characters go to great lengths to keep the character the same. Mr. Brandman did that, too, but he chose the character who appeared on television rather than the Parker character from the books.

I think that was a mistake. This Jesse is more about competence and ease than pain and angst. Other than the name being the same, reading about this Jesse doesn't feel nearly as interesting or rewarding.

I also thought that the plot and pacing felt more like what a television show would do than what a book can accomplish.

Would I read another book in this series by Mr. Brandman? Probably not, unless a review convinced me he had moved closer to the Parker model.

Borrow the book at the library and see what you think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It isn't RBP Sept. 18 2011
By CGP TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As I say in my review on [...], I was hoping for the best on this one. Brandman's caught the Jesse Stone character, but just the surface. I found a certain flatness in the dialogue. Hard to say just what's missing, but Parker had a lightness and irony that's either not there in this work or is too heavy. I also thought there were too many subplots and the solutions were too predictable and rather difficult to take seriously. The stories might get better, but I'm not sure I'll continue buying the books.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  282 reviews
148 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A clear change in direction, but still Jesse... Sept. 13 2011
By Don In Fremont - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Your reaction to the simple existence of a Jesse Stone novel written by someone who's not Robert B. Parker will likely define your approach to reading it.

If, like me, you are a long-time reader of the late, lamented Grand Master Parker, you will be rightly skeptical. The stylistic differences, coupled with clearly different skill-sets, will be off-putting. The choices Michael Brandman makes early in the book will drive you crazy. You might want to fling the book out a window, even.

If, however, you come to Killing The Blues as an admirer of the Jesse Stone TV-Movies, on which Brandman and Parker were frequent collaborators, you'll likely be spared such self-righteous angst.

Brandman seems to be blurring the lines between book and movie continuity now, to the point that Killing The Blues is much like those "tv tie-in" books that support CSI and other long-running series. The settings and characters now resemble the movies more than previous books.

By itself, Killing The Blues is a very effective story of obssession, redemption and all the themes Parker made resonate so well. It weaves a few compelling plot-lines together pretty seamlessly. It's very entertaining crime-fiction commerce.

As summer approaches Paradise, Jesse is greeted with a new wave of car thefts, all Hondas. Clearly an organized-crime expansion into His Town to feed their chop-shop appetites. Jesse wants to stop the crimes, but the Paradise Board of Selectmen want to stop the threat to The Season, which creates some cross-purposes, and opportunities for Jesse to display his ironic aversion to authority.

Jesse hears from his old boss in L.A. A former victim of Jesse's dark past, Ruthless Thug Rollo Nurse, has been released, and word has drifted that Jesse will be his target. The cat-and-mouse between Jesse and Rollo form the core of the book's narration. The other threads of Brandman's story weave around it, and provide nice balance.

When Parker died, Jesse seemed headed towards a really fun relationship with Sunny Randall. That's "resolved" rather quickly, so we can watch Jesse do the dance with Alexis Richardson, neice of a town Selectman, and PR person. She wants to launch a Rock Festival in town. Sparks fly, take-out is consumed, frolic ensues.

As Jesse gets close on the car-thefts, Rollo arrives and begins to work his twisted revenge scheme on Jesse. Brandman stages these quite well, creating some real loin-girding moments for us. He also does good work in forcing us to observe Rollo's psychosis as a result of Jesse's Great Flaw. It'll keep ya thinking.

Brandman also takes a trendy whack at school bullying, starting and finishing an episode at the local Junior High providing some character beats for Jesse, but nothing significant beyond them.

So, for Parker fans, what's missing? The obvious is that Parker wrote human dialogue better than almost anyone, so anyone else using the characters is going to suffer by comparison. There's also a marginalization of Molly Crane that is saddening. She's there for comic relief, but the banter between her and Jesse is just functional, totally lacking Parker's insightfulness. She is, here, a reflection of the TV version.

And there's the whole commercial orientation. Parker loved to make money, of course, but he always had something on his mind, and used his characters to flesh out those thoughts. Brandman has a whole other direction here, and it occasionally disrupts the reading experience.

However, anyone getting too high on their horse should remember, in literature, characters always live on. Parker wrote a Philip Marlowe by himself (Perchance To Dream), after finishing Chandler's Poodle Springs, and it was huge fun. Jeffrey Deaver just published a James Bond novel. Ace Atkins (YAY!) will pick up the Spenser series. The key is how involved the Parker estate remains in the execution of these series. That influence will determine the quality of future installments primarily by ensuring selected authors stay true to what made the characters worth continuing in the first place.

So, get Killing The Blues, have fun with it, be wistful, and enjoy the ride. It's what Parker would've wanted us to do.
57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Wish This Was Not Written, But...... Sept. 17 2011
By Peterack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I will admit I was, and am an avid fan of the PARKER written Jesse Stone books. In fact as his series' got into their later incarnations I enjoyed the Stone stories (except for one) better than the later Spenser tales. Having said that there was a part of me that was excited that the books would go on, but a larger part of me dreaded the idea.

When I heard that this new author (of "Killing the Blues") worked on the Jesse Stone tv movies I was REALLY dreading this novel, and what at first looked like my prediction coming true, ended up being a nice surprise.

At first glimpse over the opening pages (or the Kindle sample) I began to fear the worst....as in quick order the "book" Jesse/Paradise, was slightly skewed so that it resembled more the "tv" Jesse/Paradise. The slight changes (no big spoilers here as this is in the first few pages) include Jesse moving from his apartment to a rental house on an inlet across from a bridge, his romance with Parker's other character, Sunny Randall, is on ice as she is now working long term on a case in England. A slight change that is difficult to miss, is that the writing style is vastly different, and this is both bad and good. The negative is that it does not have the same "feel" of the shorter chapters that end with some sort of one liner. The positive is that the author pays more attention to the story...let me rephrase that, stories - as there are multiple plot lines that kept me engaged.

Once I got past the differences and recognized that there were not to be any more and any vast changes I began to enjoy the book, and again there was much in the plot to enjoy. A released criminal from L.A. is out for revenge and causing havok in Paradise. There is a school hostage sitation and the fall out from that, and a mob element that is muscling in, using Paradise as its home. In a Parker novel, one of these might be the only plot, so I found the book rich and engaging with much to keep the story moving forward.

Having said that, there were some significant alterations that might bother some more than it did for me, though it was nice to finally get away from some of these..(Minor Spoilers this paragraph)....Jesse no longer has a dog, but a cat adopts him, which seems very un Jesse-like. In addition his wife, Jenn, is hardly mentioned, and makes zero appearance in this book...not even a phone call, so that hang up seems to be over, which while out of character for these books does serve as a relief to those of us readers who were tiring of that never ending loop. Finally, Jesse's drinking is no longer a problem. He has a scotch or beer occassionally in the book, but there is no wrestling over how many, etc. - they just seemed to take the "issue" away so he no longer has a problem (though the problem did exhist because his past treatment of a criminal is part of this book's plot).

I was surprised by the end at how much I enjoyed this book. If you are fan of the series and can get through some of the alterations you may end up liking it too. Unlike other reviews on this page, though, you might want to read it first, before putting forth your final judgement!
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Killing the series Oct. 15 2011
By Goldie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This should have some kind of warning on the cover for Robert B. Parker fans: "This is NOT your guy." I tried to like this but it just ground the gears too often. Ham-handed exposition that read more like stage directions...for the love of RBP, let the characters tell us what's going on, what's gone on and why they are doing what they are doing. After stylistic differences, we have the none-too-small matter of fidelity to the Stone character. This version is way too far away from social norms (even for Jesse Stone). A lot of shooting and violence. Not exactly cerebral. The Chief of the Paradise Police Department comes off as the vigilante in charge...and his officers are paper-thin. Molly is a victim of the body-snatchers. Suit has apparently lost his marbles and his moral compass completely. The bad guys are comic book characters and a fair number of nitwits (car thief, school principal, school bully) go through some sort of magical redemption in unbelievably short order....kind of like a television episode. This guy couldn't sharpen Parker's pencils.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please stop Michael Brandman before he kils again Sept. 18 2011
By P. W. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jesse Stone was a Robert Parker character because he spoke sparingly, didn't tell everyone everything he knew, and SHOWED us his character through his actions. A complex character, to be sure, but you always wanted to know how things were going to turn out--in the plot and for Jesse. This book is the opposite of that style. The author doesn't show you what's happening. Instead, he tells you with a million little contrived backstories, inartfully inserted so as to break the narrative drive. Also, it's a swamp of pop-psychology adjectives and behavior and pretty much every character in it is made out of low-grade cardboard. And the sexual attraction between characters was apparently ordered from the Acme Company.

Don't encourage this type of thing. Don't buy this book. Tell your Parker-loving friends not to buy this book. If you must, leaf through it when it appears (in hardcover or paperback) in the remainder pile at some bricks-and-mortar bookstore. You'll see what I'm talking about.
62 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Parker rolling in his grave Sept. 13 2011
By miller stevens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought I hated those Zombie Jane Austen novels ... but at least the writers of those could write and it was clear these were pastiches. This is just awful. I got about a third of the way through it and thought my eyes were going to bleed. It's not just that the poor characterization, lame plot and just dreadful writing was such a slap in the face of one of the greatest writers we've ever had, it's that this is in itself so awful it should never have been written. It totally feels like a high school junior read some of Parker's novels and thought he'd take a crack for a school project. If this guy considers himself a friend of Parker, he should be absolutely ashamed of himself.
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&quote;
Jesse took another sip of beer. He gently scratched Mildred Memorys neck. She looked up at him, sleepy-eyed. He smiled at her.   &quote;
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rubber veil at the bottom of the door. She stepped out and padded her way to the love seat. She jumped onto Jesses lap. &quote;
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