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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Stone Cold Fun April 16 2004
By hartf
I have to say that I am very impressed with my first Jesse Stone novel. I picked up this book after reading some favorable reviews and was not disappointed at all. Stone Cold is a brisk read that is just plain fun. The novel is a study of three story lines that each bring out unique qualities in Parker's main character, Jesse Stone. Stone investigates a series of serial murders conducted by a yuppie couple in his hometown. This plotline illustrates Stone's exceptional investigating skills and attention to detail. Concurrently, a young high school student is gang raped by three classmates. This sensitive situation shows Jesse's heart, compassion, and skill in bringing the boys to justice while protecting the victim. Lastly, Stone must deal with the varied emotions of his personal relationships as he lives with the pain of still loving his ex-wife who is still very much in his life.
I very much enjoyed Stone Cold. If I did have a complaint at all I would have to say that I wish there were a bit more development and background as to why the serial killers pursued their victims. While a general explanation is offered, I would have liked to have seen a little more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spenser: Make Room For Stone Feb. 11 2004
By Newt Gingrich THE
I like Robert Parker's way of writing, view of life and knack for weaving interesting stories about as much as anyone writing today. I am totally captivated by Spenser but find myself growing more and more fond of the Jesse Stone novels.

In this case, a couple that is entirely ruthless and gets their kicks from killing strangers has moved into Stone's small town. As police chief, Stone is faced with tracking down very smart people who have developed a method for identifying and killing people that does not require them to make any significant mistakes or leave any evidence.

The couple begins to be fascinated with the idea of killing Stone; the plot thickens.

In the middle of all this, Stone continues to long for his ex-wife and continues to date without the ability to commit. He struggles with the amount of alcohol he uses to compensate for the emptiness he feels from living without his ex-wife.
Parker has written a number of times about the power of being committed so deeply to someone that you have no choice but to live it out (most powerfully in Love and Glory). Stone Cold takes a deep step into that territory and does it while spinning a very good mystery story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Serial killers running wild.......... Feb. 5 2004
Robert Parker has created an enigma with his character Jesse Stone. Just when you are sure that you know what Jesse will choose to do next, you are surprised.
In this novel, a pair of serial murderers is running rampant in Jesse Stone's small town. The motive is unfathomable, but then, they ARE serial killers. While Jesse and his police force track the killers, not only the why, but the who will be next question hangs densely in the air.
While the investigation proceeds, Jesse becomes more or less involved with a couple of different women, when his ex-wife enters the picture.
In the center of this novel is the third line of the story involving a young girl who claims to have been raped by some of the jocks at her school. The way Jesse handles this investigation is a wonderful new facet to this character.
The mix of emotions is nearly volatile, and as another murder occurs, you begin to wonder how will Robert PArker bring the story together. I thought the serial killers were a little vague, as characters, but still the surprising twists and turns of this author never fail to capture the readers full attention.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery=Good. Ex-wife=Bad Nov. 26 2003
When a dead body turns up with two bullets, fired from different guns, police chief Jesse Stone knows he has a problem. When a second body has the same wounds, he knows he has a pair of serial killers on his beat. But knowing about serial killers and finding them are two different things. Especially when the killers seem to plan their strikes carefully and their escapes even more carefully. Jesse's small-town police department becomes even busier when a high school girl is gang-raped by three schoolmates. Jesse has no evidence and the rapists threaten to ruin the girl's life if she tells, but Jesse intends to bring whatever justice is possible.
Jesse's professional life is busy, but his social life is packed. He can't get over his ex-wife and she certainly won't let him. And every other woman he meets, with the possible exception of one of his fellow cops, is ready to fall directly into bed with him. Jesse is willing to do the bed thing, but he makes it clear that he's waiting to resolve things with the ex-wife--and the resolution he wants is a return to their marriage. Since their relationship seems completely sick (as confirmed by their psychologists), that isn't an especially desirable thing for the reader but it is what Jesse wants.
Robert B. Parker is an excellent writer. His characterization of Jesse Stone is strong and rings true. Jesse tries to live his life by a sharply defined set of rules--love is forever, justice is important, revenge is worth having, physical violence can solve problems or at least make things feel better, and talking too much is a big mistake. Jesse's treatment of the young rape victim is sympathetic and nicely handled.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Cold
As always really good book by Robert B Parker. I really like Jesse Stone novel. A really good reading. Great buy.
Published 17 months ago by Ginette
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
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. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked this book very much,
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. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Peg Dubeck
1.0 out of 5 stars Appropriately Titled
Parker's writing leaves me stone cold. This is the first Robert Parker novel I've read, and it did not impress. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by S. A. Cartwright
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Guy Wins! Good Guy Wins!
RObert Parker writes good page-turning mysteries and this one is in his upper echelon.
Jesse Stone is a big-time L.A. Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Rick Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-spun suspenful and well-concepted plots
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. Read more
Published on May 6 2004 by Sean Patrick
4.0 out of 5 stars B+
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... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by Dory
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot
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. Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by R. M Connors
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Cold
"Stone Cold" is the fourth Jesse Stone novel by Robert B. Parker, who is best known for his Spenser novels. Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by Ricky N.
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty lightweight reading
As others have noted, this is not a big book. Lots of white space - I think it was a one day read for me. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004
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