Death in Paradise (Jesse Stone Novels)
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2001
Robert B. Parker once again scores a winning run with his third novel in the Jesse Stone series. Former L.A. homicide detective Jesse Stone is now Chief of Police in Paradise, Massachusetts after alcohol ruined both his detective job and his marriage. When the body of a young girl is found in a lake during one of Jesse's softball games, Chief Stone must use his well-honed investigative skills to find the killer.
Just as Jesse feels the need to lead his softball team (he once played in the minors), he must lead his police force in his quest to find the killer of the unidentified girl. Just to name a few on the force, there is Molly, with her Irish-Catholic sense of humor, a perfect combination with Jesse's dry wit. And Suitcase Simpson is only too eager to please his Chief though his experience with surveillance is nil.
As Jesse follows the trail of clues to discover the murderer's identity, his personal life is carefully revealed. His dependent relationship with his ex-wife, Jenn, is inextricably intertwined with his alcohol problem. And there is Lilly, the high school principal he is seeing seemingly to avoid loneliness.
Mr. Parker has penned another sure success, one of his best yet. The mystery is nothing short of excellent, as previously unrelated characters become suspects caught in a web that begins to unravel as their connection to each other is exposed. And Jesse is portrayed as a very real hero, a man who seems rather sure of himself to his peers and to women, but a man who battles quite a few demons in private.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Jesse Stone is the police chief of Paradise, a small suburban town on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He's still in love with his ex-wife who he sees every Wednesday night even thought their marriage broke up years ago because of her adultery and his boozing. Jesse knows that this is his last chance at the job and with the only woman he ever loved. He was fired in Los Angeles because of his drinking during business hours and was not dependable.

Usually Paradise is a quiet place but not today. After the weekly softball game, Jesse is called over to the nearby river where he seas a floater. By process of elimination, he identifies the body and Jesse puts in a lot of man-hours following the meager trail that will lead to Billie's killer.

In DEATH IN PARADISE, Jessie struggles to come to terms with his alcoholism even as he struggles with one of the trickiest cases of his careers. One has to like Jessie, a man who has known much heartache, but still keeps on hoping things will improve. Robert B. Parker has written an exciting police procedural that piques reader interest from first page to last.

Harriet Klausner
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2001
The Paradise Men's Softball League has just finished their game, and Jessie Stone is hanging around the parking lot with his teammates, drinking beers, and talking about women when a voice from a nearby lake calls out in terror. Crouching by the water's edge are two men, and floating in front of them is the body of a young girl.
The girl didn't commit suicide, and she didn't drown: she was shot, and dumped in the lake. The local police haven't seen anything like this, but because of his L.A. past, Jessie has, and even though he doesn't have much to go on, he leaves no stone unturned in his investigation, even if it means entering the darkest corners of the peaceful town of Paradise.
The only clue Jessie has is a class ring worn around the victim's neck, and while the ring links him to his first suspect, it brings up more unanswered questions as he finds the young girl was a promiscuous, and her parents wanted nothing to do with her.
As his investigation heats up, Jessie sees his list of suspects grow, and lurking in the shadows is someone willing to kill again to keep their secrets from being found out.
`Death In Paradise' is the third novel featuring Chief of Police Jessie Stone, and what an enjoyable novel it is: packed with all the suspense, humor, strong characters, and tough writing that have become Parker staples, readers are treated to a fast-paced mystery that can't be put down once it's started.
Robert B. Parker has created a great series with his Jessie Stone novels, and `Death In Paradise' is his best yet. Fans will devour this novel in one sitting, and be left anxious for the next book in the series.
A MUST read!
Nick Gonnella
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2003
"Death In Paradise", by Richard B. Parker. Audio version (Five tapes) read by Robert Forester. New Millennium Audio, Beverly Hills, CA.
In short, staccato bursts of dialogue, Robert B. Parker tells the story of Chief of Police, Jesse Stone, in the small town of Paradise, north of Boston, Massachusetts. Chief Stone had lost his police job in Los Angeles, lost his first wife and ended up in the small town of Paradise. His experience in Minor League Baseball makes the Chief a star in the local softball league, and that's where the story begins. The softball team's reverie after the early evening game is broken by the discovery of badly decomposed body floating in the lake. The story then grows around Chief Stone's development of his tiny police force by instructing them, with on-the-job training, in big city police tactics.
The dead girl's family has disowned her; the girl had run away, and become part of a sex for pay group. Stone shows his police officers how to act on routine (and boring) stakeouts and finally, he tracks down the murderer. Throughout all of this, the author has interspersed tales of Stone's alcoholism, failure at married life and regrets with the injury that cost him a promising baseball career. About three-quarters of the way through, you begin suspecting the identity of the killer, but these side issues in the life of Chief Stone continue to make the book interesting.
This book appears to be better if it is read aloud. The audio version, read by Robert Forester, flowed naturally and rapidly. Everything seemed to fit together as the book was read. It certainly helped me in the traffic of I-495, around Boston. Speaking of Boston, please let the reader know that the pronunciation of Copely Square is "COP-lee", not the "Cope -lee" used in this presentation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2002
...P>But I think what we have in this novel is pure craftsmanship, the kind where the artist paints the leaf and the twig and leaves the tree and the landscape to the viewer's imagination. Jesse Stone doesn't NEED to say any more than he does, nor do any of the other characters in the book. And the plot is really quite complicated and intricate, with all lines coming together by the last page...as well as the final hint of more to come and life and intrigue resuming even after we have put the book down.
Parker, you get better with every novel. Reader, don't be decieved. This is one really well written book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2001
Death in Paradise by singing 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' storyteller Robert Rarker is another ball park home run-- The Paradise fella's soft ball game has just ended and Chief of Police Jesse Stone (sharing a few beers) with some of his teammates, swapping a few stories in the early evening twilight of double-plays when their conversation is suddenly put on hold after hearing an excited voice shout out from the edge of a nearby lake. An instant later, the police chief is staring down at the lifeless body of a girl.
Death in Paradise is one book I recommend with pleasure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2002
We are again seeing some of the prose for which Parker is noted. But he is assuming that everyone of his fans know enough about baseball to understand what he is talking about. There are places in the text with Jesse on the field where it is plainly hard to follow the action, especially at the beginning of the novel. Towards the middle and the end it isn't so bad.
For an alcoholic who is "trying" to recover, Jesse certainly makes a point of drinking a great deal. At least his ex-wife talks him into getting some help.
But this novel gets better as it progresses. If you want a light read which makes sense, and is also a very good read in the process, this is the novel for you. It is a boilerplate affair but it still makes for a good mystery.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2001
As a mystery writer with my debut novel in its initial release, I am amazed at how prolific Robert B. Parker is at writing mystery fiction. Not only does this master turn them out fast, he also turns them out great. DEATH IN PARADISE is Parker's third Jesse Stone novel. In case you don't remember, Jesse is the former LAPD officer who was fired for drinking on the job and landed as police chief in a crime-challenged Massachuetts town. Basically, think of Jesse as Spenser with a drinking problem. This time, a body of a teenaged girl is found, and Jesse investigates her murder. The investigation leads him into the world of child exploitation. Subplots include Jesse adjusting to his new life and re-adjusting to his old ex-wife. Parker has another winner here. DEATH IN PARADISE is a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2010
Parker's Jesse Stone stories are among my favorites. This one is no exception. Great read. Parker's concise style makes for very easy reading. It's a shame that he recently passed away. He will be creatly missed.
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on January 1, 2008
Robert B. Parker, 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 gives his characters an inner life, he paints an understated, believable picture of a tough guy wrestling with tough issues. This smooth-reading book goes down easy but packs a punch in the end. --
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