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Stone Cold [Hardcover]

Robert Parker
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 30 2003 Parker, Robert B. (Book 4)
Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone returns, tracking the path of a pair of thrill killers.

Investigating a serial killer in an affluent suburban town is difficult, and dangerous, and with the added pressures from the town selectmen and the media, the heat is turned up on Jesse. He's spending too much time with the bottle-and with his ex-wife-neither of which helps him, or the case. And the harder these outside forces push against him, the more Jesse retreats into himself, convinced-despite all the odds-that it's up to him alone to stop the killing.

As tough, clear-eyed, and sardonic as Jesse Stone himself, this is the Grand Master working at the peak of his powers.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

It's taken four novels, but finally Parker's Jesse Stone series has produced a book as good as top-drawer Spenser. This outing finds the laconic, troubled cop tackling three problems: to capture the pair of serial killers who are murdering random victims in small-town Paradise, Mass., where Stone is chief of police; to bring to justice the three high-school students who gang-raped a younger schoolmate; and to come to terms with his love of both alcohol and his ex-wife, Jenn. The serial killers, revealed early to the reader and soon enough to Stone, are a married yuppie pair who taunt Stone, whom they take as a dumb hick cop, as he collects evidence to bring them down; his pursuit of them leads them to kill someone close to him, then to target Stone himself, and eventually to an emotionally cathartic climax in Toronto, where the killers have fled. That story line serves as a fine little police procedural, but Parker is at his max here when following the rape plot, especially in scenes in which Stone, in his cool, compassionate way, tries to help the besieged victim as best he can. Meanwhile, under intense media attention and pressure from town elders for the ongoing serial killings, Stone works his way toward an understanding of the roles that booze and Jenn play in his life. Told in third-person prose that's a model of economy, with sharp action sequences, deep yet unobtrusive character exploration and none of the cuteness that can mar the Spenser novels, this is prime Parker, testament to why he was named a Grand Master at the 2002 Edgar Awards.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is an addictive personality. Booze cost him his job as a homicide detective with the LAPD, and after that blew up, he traveled across the country to be near his ex-wife, television journalist Jenn. He refuses to believe it's over between them, and she doesn't help with her come-hither, leave-me-alone mood swings. But the qualities making his personal life hell also make him a good cop. You don't want Jesse to get you in his sights if you're a criminal. The baddies in this case are a couple who target their victims based on looks, stalk them, and kill them with two simultaneous shots from identical .22 caliber pistols. While hunting the psychos, Jesse is also after three middle-class juvenile predators who raped a classmate. Stone is much like Parker's Spenser, but with self-doubt overriding self-confidence. That formula worked fine in the first two Stone novels, but this one is less successful. Too much dime-store psychology between Stone and his Zen therapist; too much love-for-the-ages blather between Stone and his ex; and too much squad-room violence between Stone and his prisoners. Stone is a worthy character, but this is not the novel to make the case. But that doesn't mean Parker's fans won't want the chance to decide for themselves. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Cold April 23 2013
By Ginette
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always really good book by Robert B Parker. I really like Jesse Stone novel. A really good reading. Great buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! July 14 2004
I think this is definately one of the best books in Jesse Stone series. Jesse Stone encounters two very smart murderers who kill randomly and seemingly without a motive. I always liked Jesse's character but his confused ex-wife gets on my nerves. It seems to be a pattern in Robert Parker's books-in his Spencer series there is Susan who just can't work through her problems and have been confused about who she is for a long time. Same here. Its my only complaint about his books which are always excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Liked this book very much, June 7 2004
I've been a fan of this writer for a long time and usually enjoy all of his books. I think most people who read the work of Robert Parker will enjoy the stories as well. Give this one a shot you won't be disappointed.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Appropriately Titled May 25 2004
Parker's writing leaves me stone cold. This is the first Robert Parker novel I've read, and it did not impress. The writing is flat, arch at times, and a plot twist toward the end of the book...uhhh, did we forget one? This is a boring march through two cases: (1) the gang-rape of an underage high-schooler and (2) a serial killing couple who kill for the thrill. Neither case has much dimension or plot, and worse, they are highly predictible. Then we throw in the love-life storyline of the Jesse Stone, our protaganist, police chief. He struggles to reconcile with his ex-wife and to keep off the bottle. This is creative writing? Sorry, Parker fans...<yawn>.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Guy Wins! Good Guy Wins! May 11 2004
RObert Parker writes good page-turning mysteries and this one is in his upper echelon.
Jesse Stone is a big-time L.A. cop who comes to be the chief of police in a small Massachusetts town. In this novel he solves two crimes - one a local rape and the other a serial killer. Along the way he has relationships with several women including an ex-wife he can not surrender. (Somehow, this middle-aged taciturn guy keeps getting the babes, but somehow it works.)
The reader will find himself rooting for Stone in the rape matter and being very satisfied with its conclusion.
In the serial killer plot, Stone's adversary is extremely unique and interesting. To tell more would be to ruin the first third of the book but suffice it to say Parker has masterfully created a challenging nemesis for his hero.
Parker's writing, as always, is clean, concise and keeps the story moving. A good page-turner of a mystery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well-spun suspenful and well-concepted plots May 6 2004
I am a big Robert Parker fan and have enjoyed his creating new characters. After all, Spenser has been around the ring for a lot of rounds.
I have read all Spenser and now Stone novels and continue to welcome a Parker Penning.
This story was very human, exceptionally interesting and gratifying (to me) on one plot and on another plot, a sad-but-true consequence of life and our times. I like Jesse Stone but think he should ditch his ex-wife.
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4.0 out of 5 stars B+ April 26 2004
By Dory
I was not huge Parker fan until I read his previous novel. LOVED IT! This one was not quite as good but it was interesting and it wasn't filled with too much boredom, but could be considered so at times. 4 stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot April 16 2004
I pride myself on having read the original Spenser-The Godwulf Manuscript-while it was a HB in the stores, and I've gotten lots of pleasure from all that's followed. But this one's a stinker, folks. Jesse Stone, who began life as a character distinct from Spenser, becomes in this one merely a clone of him, hewing to a rather tedious version of Spenser's philosophy of life. There are a lot of ponderous looks and deep, anguished sighs shared with various females, too. Overdone.
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