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Sea Change (Jesse Stone Novels) Paperback – March 6, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews
Book 5 of 13 in the A Jesse Stone Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The body of an unidentified woman is found in a cove off the village of Paradise, Massachusetts, during the annual Race Week for sailing vessels. This is a particularly bad time for an unidentified body to surface, since the tiny populace is swollen with thousands of boat enthusiasts. Former LAPD cop and current Paradise police chief Jesse Stone, appearing in the Stone series' fifth entry, begins his investigation by inquiring if any boat-rental agencies have any boats missing. One rental owner comes forward, providing a driver's license of a Florida woman who never brought her boat back. After this promising lead, the case morphs from forensic identification into a disturbing morality play, as Stone digs deeper and deeper into the victim's past. This is a case that would intrigue Stone's private-eye counterpart, Spenser (who appears in a tantalizing cameo here). Parker is dead-on here when it comes to police procedure and plotting, as the seemingly simple case eddies into all kinds of ugly complications, and the story swirls from whodunit into an absorbing whydunit. On the down side, Parker's signature smart-ass dialogue is beginning to sound stale, even weak; why must all his characters talk in the same tough-guy way, heavy on the sexual innuendo? Similarly tired is the cutesy relationship between Stone and his ex-wife (punctuated by other women throwing themselves at him), which draws heavily on Spenser's relationship with Susan Silverman. Shortcomings aside, though, Parker's setting and plotting are enough to make most readers forgive the unrelenting Guy Noir style. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Jesse Stone Novels
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425214427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425214428
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This was my first Parker novel, my dad was reading it and when he finished it I picked it up. I am glad I did as I have a new favorite author! The hero is Jess Stone a former Los Angeles cop who is now police chief in a small Massachusetts town. The chief has some problems, a recovering alcoholic who has lost his wife Jenn. But then a badly decomposed floater washes up on the beach. The dinning crabs make identification of the body difficult, but the cops soon figure out the body is that of Florence Horvath a wealthy divorcee from Fort Lauderdale. Florence's yacht the Lady Jane is docked at the local marina. Stone is plunged into the lives of the rich jets set crowd to attempt to learn what happened to Ms. Horvath?

Stone makes for a great anti-hero. The mystery plot is balanced by Stones personal struggles, that gives the story a realistic edge. The writing is crisp and the dialog snappy yet believable. I also liked the fact that all of the action and plot devices seemed reasonable and probable, something lacking in much of this genre. Though over 300 pages it is a quick read. I now look forward to going back and reading Parker's other novels.
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Format: Hardcover
Five INTRIGUING Stars!! Jesse Stone, former LA cop is now chief of police in Paradise, Massachusettes. On the wagon, in analysis, and trying to get his woman back, he's carrying more baggage than a police chief should. Then a murdered "floater" plunges him, a man in therapy, into the seedy underbelly of the rich, to analyze the case and find the killer. And he gets alot of help along the way from internal and external sources, one big surprising source in particular.

The redoubtable Robert B. Parker gives us tons of detailed police procedure and forensic investigation, which is just the kickoff, then he takes Jesse down the lurid rabbit-hole to a surprising climax in a wide ranging investigation. Snappy dialogue and intriguing, disturbing characters and situations abound. In some places it was like I wanted to cover my eyes and peek through the parted fingers: we shouldn't look but can't look away. Do people really live like that? Caution: there are two disturbing scenes conjured up by Mr Parker. An amazing read by one of our most talented mystery writers. Five Big Stars!!!

(Note: Eminently readable book with short three to five page chapters that are sparely written, but chock full of information on the page and between the lines. A fascinating, engrossing approach to writing.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with Robert Urich playing the role of Spenser in the television series from the mid-to-late eighties, I now see Tom Selleck as our flawed hero, Jesse Stone, and Viola Davis as Molly Crane and Mimi Rogers as the beautiful and sexy Rita Fiore. And, for some strange reason this has made the "Jesse Stone" series even more fun for me to read. I have a face to put on all the recurring characters and this makes me look forward to each "Jesse Stone" novel when it comes out, enjoying a brief reunion with new and trusted friends. Though some of the books are better than others, in my opinion there are no bad "Jesse Stone" novels. I've loved all five books, and I avidly look forward to the newest one, Sea Change, being turned into a TV movie with Mr. Selleck reprising the role of Paradise, Massachusetts police chief, Jesse Stone.

In Sea Change, Jesse Stone has to solve the murder of an attractive, middle-aged woman who was found floating in the harbor of Paradise. The victim, Florence Horvath, turns out to be an out-of-towner from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Jesse will have to turn to Detective Kelly Cruz of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for help on this one. While both of them work the case from their respective ends of the country, Jesse discovers that the victim may have come to Paradise for its annual Race Week with boaters arriving from all over the eastern seaboard to participate in and to watch the big racing event. This leads to the discovery of an amateur sex ring amongst some of the boaters, involving female teenagers from Paradise. As Jesse investigates the murder case, he must also deal with his battle to remain sober and with his ex-wife, Jenny, being back in his life once again and what that means to him emotionally.
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Format: Hardcover

I have been a Robert Parker fan for years and always look forward to a new book by him - whether it is another novel in my long time favorite series, Spenser, or more recently a story in the series which alternately feature Jesses Stone and Sunny Randall. Unfortunately, this new entry in the Jesse Stone series, while enjoyable and in many a typical showcase for his tough guy characters and recent themes, is not up to his usual standards and may not appeal to as broad a group of readers as his stories usually do.

Among the many positive aspects of this novel are the following:
first, the typical concise dialog and witty insights and asides which characterize Parker's work are liberally sprinkled throughout the story;
second, Jessie's interactions with the two police women working with him on the case (his associate Molly and Ft.
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