From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Parker's enjoyable ninth novel featuring Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone (after Night and Day
), focuses on Stone's deepening connection with PI Sunny Randall, the star of her own series (Spare Change
, etc.). Both Jesse and Sunny are still recovering from failed relationships, and Parker does a nice job of integrating their separate therapy sessions (in Sunny's case, with Susan Silverman, the significant other of Parker's best-known detective, Spenser) with two criminal investigations. The parents of 18-year-old Cheryl DeMarco ask Sunny for help in getting Cheryl out of a religious cult, while Stone probes the gunshot murder of Petrov Ognowski, a mob soldier whose boss, Reggie Galen, is the next-door neighbor of another gangster. Neither case is particularly compelling on its own, but they effectively serve as plot devices for the main characters to understand more about themselves and each other. (Feb.)
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Petrov Ognowski is dead. A bullet bounced around inside his skull for about six hours before “Suit” Simpson, a patrol officer in the small Massachusetts town of Paradise, found the body. Petrov worked for Reggie Galen, one of two crime bosses who call Paradise home. The other, Knocko Moynihan, lives across the street from Galen. Suit’s boss, chief of police Jesse Stone, finally has occasion to find out why two onetime rivals choose to be neighbors. (Seems they married twin sisters, Rebecca and Roberta, known as the Bang Bang Twins in high school.) Reggie and Knocko are shocked about Petrov’s fate but give Jesse no help with the case. In the meantime, Jesse, still hurting from the latest breakup with his ex-wife, is helping old friend, private detective Sunny Randall, star of her own series, track down a teenager who has moved in with a New Age commune. The three nonconverging plotlines are linked tenuously by one theme: the search for love—the two mobsters with their Bang Bang twins; the teenager, denied affection from her rigidly aristocratic parents, with her commune cohorts; and Jesse and Sunny with each other. And the crimes? The commune is more creepy than comfy, and the Bang Bang Twins may have set in motion a series of events that will lead to violence. Parker’s ninth Jesse Stone novel finds the series in slight decline. The plotlines are thin—hence the need for three—but the dialogue is sharp, and the Jesse-Sunny romance has possibilities. --Wes Lukowsky