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9780739357484

Split Image (Jesse Stone Novels)

Parker, Robert B. Author

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The body in the trunk was just the beginning.
           
Turns out the stiff was a foot soldier for local tough guy Reggie Galen, now enjoying a comfortable “retirement” with his beautiful wife, Rebecca, in the nicest part of Paradise. Living next door are Knocko Moynihan and his wife, Robbie, who also happens to be Rebecca’s twin. But what initially appears to be a low-level mob hit takes on new meaning when a high-ranking crime figure is found dead on Paradise Beach.
           
Stressed by the case, his failed relationship with his ex-wife, and his ongoing battle with the bottle, Jesse needs something to keep him from spinning out of control. When private investigator Sunny Randall comes into town on a case, she asks for Jesse’s help. As their professional and personal relationships become intertwined, both Jesse and Sunny realize that they have much in common with both their victims and their suspects—and with each other.

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About the Author:

Robert B. Parker is the author of more than fifty books. He lives in Boston.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

MOLLY CRANE STUCK her head into the open doorway of Jesse’s office and said, “Chief Stone, there’s a private detective from Boston here to see you.”

“Show him in,” Jesse said.

“It’s a her,” Molly said.

“Even better,” Jesse said.

Molly smiled and stepped aside, and Sunny Randall came in, carrying a straw shoulder bag and wearing a green sleeveless top with white pants and color- coordinated sneakers.

“Wow,” Jesse said.

“Wow is good,” Sunny said, and sat down.

“And accurate,” Jesse said. “It couldn’t have been easy getting into those pants.”

“For whom?” Sunny said.

Jesse smiled.

“Shall I close the door?” he said.

“No,” Sunny said. “I’m actually here on business.”

“All work and no play,” Jesse said.

“We’ll address that at another time,” Sunny said.

“That’s encouraging,” Jesse said.

“It’s meant to be,” Sunny said. “Do you know of a small religious organization here in Paradise called the Renewal? Or the Bond of the Renewal?”

“I’m the chief of police,” Jesse said. “I know everything.”

“Exactly why I’m here,” Sunny said.

She smiled.

“Tell me about the Renewal,” she said.

“They’re located in a house near the town wharf. Nice house; one of the elders owns it. They all live there in a kind of communal way, run by a guy who calls himself the Patriarch. About forty, with gray hair, which Molly Crane claims is artificial.”

“He dyes it gray?” Sunny said.

“What Molly claims,” Jesse said. “There’s a couple of so- called elders, ’bout your age, I would guess.”

“Hey,” Sunny said.

“I mean they’re not very elder-ish.”

“Okay,” Sunny said.

“Rest of them are mostly kids,” Jesse said. “All of whom, far as I can tell, are old enough to do what they want.”

“What do they do?”

“They preach, they hand out flyers, they go door- to- door,

raising money.”

“They got some kind of special belief?”

“They’re in favor of renewal,” Jesse said.

“What the hell does that mean?”

Jesse grinned.

“Renewing the original intent of Christianity,” Jesse said. “At least as they understand it. Love, peace, that kind of thing.”

“Wow,” Sunny said. “Subversive.”

“You bet,” Jesse said. “Town hates them, want me to chase them out of town.”

“Which you haven’t done.”

“They haven’t committed a crime,” Jesse said.

“So, what’s the complaint?”

“They’re not one of us,” Jesse said. “And they’re kind of ratty- looking.”

“They preach on the streets?” Sunny said.

“Yes.”

“That can be annoying,” Sunny said.

“It is,” Jesse said. “It’s annoying as hell, but it’s not illegal.”

“And you’re hung up on the Constitution?” Sunny said.

“Old school,” Jesse said.

“And the town council understands?”

“I don’t believe so,” Jesse said.

“And you care what the town council understands,” Sunny said.

“Not very much,” Jesse said.

They were quiet for a moment. The silence was comfortable.

“You want to know why I’m asking?” Sunny said, after a time.

“Yep.”

“But not enough to ask,” Sunny said.

“I knew you’d tell me.”

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