A Jesse Stone Novel
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When a woman's partially decomposed body washes ashore in Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is forced into a case far more difficult than it at first appears. Identifying the woman is just the first step in what proves to be a difficult and emotionally charged investigation. Florence Horvath was an attractive, recently divorced heiress from Florida; she also had a penchant for steamy sex and was an enthusiastic participant in a video depicting the same. Somehow the combination of her past and present got her killed, but no one is talking - not the crew of the Lady Jane, the Fort Lauderdale yacht moored in Paradise harbour; nor her very blonde, very tanned twin sisters, Corliss and Claudia; and not her curiously affectless parents, living out a sterile retirement in a Miami high rise. But someone - Jesse - has to speak for the dead, even if it puts him in harm's way.
'...timing and pace are all. Parker knows what he's about, and Sea Change is a cracker. '
- Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph [read the full review]
'Parker writes old-time, stripped-to-the-bone, hard-boiled school of Chandler...His novels are funny, smart and highly entertaining...There's no writer I'd rather take on an aeroplane'
- Sunday Telegraph [read the full review]
'If Spenser is the invincible knight, the timeless hero of American detective fiction, then Jesse Stone is the flawed hero of the moment, a man whose deficiencies define his humanity...you want to cheer.'
- New York Times Book Review
'In Sea Change glorious harbor scenes of sailboats and yachts gathered for Race Week are tarnished by the ugly crimes Jesse is investigating — the statutory rapes of local girls lured aboard the yachts by dirty old men from Florida and the murder of a woman involved in procuring the victims.'
- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times [read the full review]
There are at least three reasons Robert B. Parker might have chosen the coastal town of Paradise, Mass., as the setting for his series about Jesse Stone, a formerly fierce big-city cop seeking redemption as a small-town chief of police. For one thing, it allows Parker to toss off a line like: "It was cool and rainy in Paradise." An idyllic spot like this would also appeal to Parker's keen sense of irony.
In Sea Change glorious harbor scenes of sailboats and yachts gathered for Race Week are tarnished by the ugly crimes Jesse is investigating — the statutory rapes of local girls lured aboard the yachts by dirty old men from Florida and the murder of a woman involved in procuring the victims. While the low-key pace of Paradise would also seem to suit Jesse's contemplative mood as he struggles with a drinking problem and tries to reconcile with his narcissistic ex-wife, his obsessive navel-gazing slows the action to a crawl and makes us wonder if things are maybe a bit livelier in Boston, where Spenser, Parker's more highly evolved sleuth, has long outgrown such adolescent angst.
Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
'Stone is a work in progress whose following is likely to increase as he continues to grow.'
- Publishers Weekly [read the full review]
Filled with tawdry sexual shenanigans, bestseller Parker's fifth Jesse Stone novel (after 2003's Stone Cold) finds the former L.A. cop, now the police chief of Paradise, Mass., tentatively reunited with his ex-wife, Jenn, and approaching a year since his last drink. The murder of a woman aboard a sailboat leads Stone into a world of wealth and depravity centered on a couple of yacht owners from Florida and their crowd. Drugs, pornography, rape and underage sex provide a degrading framework for the murder investigation. Stone gets a valuable assist from Kelly Cruz, a Fort Lauderdale cop, as he traces the backgrounds of victims and suspects. The laconic Stone with his uncertain relationship with Jenn, his struggle with alcohol and his visits to a therapist presents a striking contrast to Parker's primary hero, Spenser. But much of the dialogue is interchangeable: witty, flirtatious, droll and sexually charged. The outcome manages to be both surprising and depressing. Stone is a work in progress whose following is likely to increase as he continues to grow.
'Parker's old sense of place and lovely, spare prose...It's vintage Parker.'
- Margaret Cannon, Globe & Mail [read the full review]
'Robert B Parker's Spenser is one of the best private detectives in fiction '
- Sunday Telegraph
'Parker writes old-time, stripped-to-the-bone, hard-boiled school of Chandler...His novels are funny, smart and highly entertaining...There's no writer I'd rather take on an aeroplane.'
- Sunday Telegraph
'Parker packs more meaning into a whispered "yeah" than most writers can pack into a page'
- Sunday Times
'Why Robert Parker's not better known in Britain is a mystery. His best series featuring Boston-based PI Spenser is a triumph of style and substance. '
- Daily Mirror
'Robert B Parker is one of the greats of the American hard-boiled genre'
- Peter Guttridge, The Guardian
'Nobody does it better than Parker...'
- The Sunday Times
'Parker's dialogue is always cutting and laugh out loud funny...'
- Donna Leon, Sunday Times