Title: Death in Paradise
Publisher: Putnam, New York
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition
First printing, full number line. Signed by the author on a blank front endpaper: "Robert B. Parker." A Jesse Stone novel (#3). Book is tight and unmarked; slight spine slant; corners sharp, spine ends lightly bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $23.95); "Signed Copy" sticker on front panel. Brodart protected. Bookseller Inventory # 003192
Synopsis: "With all the authority of a bone-crunching fist, Robert B. Parker is back with another breezy detective novel that mystery fans will find as satisfying as a juicy prime rib at Peter Luger." ( New York Post)
The Paradise Men's Softball League has wrapped up another game, and Jesse Stone is lingering in the parking lot with his teammates, drinking beer, swapping stories of double plays and beautiful women in the late-summer twilight. But then a frightened voice calls out to him from the edge of a nearby lake. There, two men squat at the water's edge. In front of them, facedown, was something that used to be a girl.
The local cops haven't seen anything like this, but Jesse's L.A. past has made him all too familiar with floaters. This girl hadn't committed suicide; she hadn't been drowned: she'd been shot and dumped, discarded like trash. Before long it becomes clear that she had a taste for the wild life; and her own parents can't be bothered to report her missing, or even admit that she once was a child of theirs. All Jesse has to go on is a young man's school ring on a gold chain, and a hunch or two.
Filled with magnetic characters and the muscular writing that are Parker's trademarks, Death in Paradise is a storytelling masterpiece.
Review: With assured confidence and a master's economy of means, Robert B. Parker, who is best known for his Spenser series, delivers one of his finest, most absorbing works yet. This third entry in the Jesse Stone series finds Stone--a former LAPD cop fired for drinking on the job--serving as chief of police in the town of Paradise, Massachusetts, and investigating the murder of a teenaged girl whose decomposed body turns up in the local lake. As he follows slender threads of evidence into an ugly world of exploited teens, several subplots crisscross, keeping things lively.
But Jesse's struggle with alcohol and his loving, troubled relationship with his ex-wife are at least as compelling as the external plot events. Parker doesn't usually give his characters much of an inner life, but here--in deftly compressed prose, much of it dialog--he paints an understated, believable portrait of a tough guy grappling with tough issues. This smooth-reading book goes down easy but packs a surprising wallop. --Nicholas H. Allison
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