One of my favorite fictitious characters is Robert B Parker’s Jesse Stone. Jesse is a damaged man who’s many problems caused his dismissal from the LAPD. As a last resort he is hired as Police Chief of Paradise, a small tourist town in Massachusetts. Throughout the series Jesse is embattled with his inner demons, primarily his feelings for ex-wife Jenn and the drinking problem which accompanies those feelings. Despite his many problems Jesse is a superb cop who tenaciously seeks justice while helping the unfortunate souls touched by the underbelly of a violent society. Jesse Stone is such a beloved character that CBS began making made for TV movie adaptions beginning with Night Passage in 2006.
Unfortunately, we lost Robert B Parker in 2010 to a heart attack. One Jesse Stone novel, Split Image was published posthumously just a month after Mr. Parker’s death. Most of us assumed the character would die along with his beloved creator however one of the writers from the movie series, Michael Brandman has written a new work featuring Jesse Stone entitled Killing the Blues.
In Killing the Blues, Stone is pitted against a car theft ring linked to the Boston mob. Using means only Jesse Stone would attempt, Jesse, with the help of his staff Luther “Suitcase” Simpson and Rose Gammon, seeks to take down the ruthless criminals. After a car jacking goes wrong and a man ends up dead, the city council begins to apply pressure to solve the murder before the tourism revenue is adversely affected. After Jesse makes a bold move against a ruthless gangster Jesse’s house is ransacked sending a message that his life is in danger. As a new relationship emerges Jesse must protect, not only himself, but those around him, all while trying to catch a criminal.
I truly enjoyed this novel however their was quite a bit of artistic license taken with the characters. Althought, the plot fits seemlessly with past novels, the dynamics between characters are different and the dialogue was noticeably altered from that utilized by Parker. I encourage all Jesse Stone fans to read this novel as it keeps the character in play however taper your expectations going in and realize that there is a disconnect from past novels.
Code 451 Rating 5: Take it or Leave It
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