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Split Image (Jesse Stone, No. 9) Hardcover – February 23, 2010
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More About the Author
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The death of Dr. Parker was a shock to the genre community, to be sure. Eulogies steeped in eloquence can be found with just a few clicks. The eloquence is deserved, Parker saved the PI genre. That is not debatable. So we will leave those eulogies for you to find (we recommend the one from the NY Times), and say, going forward, this review takes that sad fact into account not one bit.
Split Image is more accurately described as a Jesse Stone/Sunny Randall Novel, both characters are present, together and apart.
Our story begins as Sunny visits Jesse for professional consult. She's been hired to look into an "eccentric" religious organization based in Paradise known as The Renewal. Her clients are parents whose daughter has moved into their house in Paradise. Sunny isn't quite sure if her clients are worried about their daughter or their reputation, and she starts her investigation by getting a briefing from the Paradise Police Chief, with whom she has an interesting romantic relationship. This briefing is filled with the banter that Parker is most famous for, and we immediately feel at home with these two. We like the fact that they are each others' refuge from bad situations in their own lives--Jesse's, the near-constant disappointment brought by his ex-wife, Jenn; Sunny, the irresolvable distance between her and her ex-husband, Richie.
During their chat, a body is discovered in Paradise, that of Mob Enforcer Petrov Ognowski. Jesse leaves Sunny to her business, and start digging.Read more ›
I held off starting this book until I had absorbed and become accustomed to the news of Robert B. Parker's passing. Rather than anticipating that there would be dozens more Parker novels coming soon, I realized that the time had come to more carefully examine and consider the last few novels in the editorial pipeline.
Split Image was a pleasant surprise for me in several dimensions. Although the cover refers to this as a Jesse Stone novel, there's quite a lot of Sunny Randall in the book, too, as she pursues a private investigation in Paradise, that well-known home and haunt for mobbed-up crooks and moral-appearing bad guys. Their interactions are rich in this series, and Split Image is one of the best books for bringing out the foundations for the mutual attractions and hurdles.
In addition, Mr. Parker has handled a sexually tinged story with much more deftness than he usually did in the past. Sometimes his novels seem to be more like exercises in voyeurism concerning the vulgar than they are stories about human sexuality in all of its dimensions.
To me the best police procedural and crime novels start with an unusual premise . . . and then play out in unexpected ways. Here the premise is one that I would never have come up with in a million years: Two mobsters who don't care that much for one another marry twins and live next door to one another in (where else?) Paradise.
In many police procedurals, you know exactly what to expect from the beginning. Mr. Parker rewards us with a plot that has more surprises to keep things interesting than we have any right to expect. I liked that.
In some of Mr.Read more ›
But more important, Parker wrote another fine mystery novel in his inimitable style. It is a pretty racy subject, involving a couple of murders and how two sex-crazy women, twins married to two gangsters, are involved. At the same time, Sonny takes on a cult to try to rescue a young woman.
Written with the same aplomb and pithy dialogue as all Parker novels, "Split Image" is at the same time amusing and full of surprises. Parker, of course, died recently, but he left behind some new books to be enjoyed, as well as a legacy of more than 50 novels, of which this is of equal quality, and highly recommended.
SPLIT IMAGE is also one of those titles that perfectly reflects what the book is about. Years ago, the late, great mystery author Ed McBain told me that he always tried to get titles that worked on multiple levels. So, for instance, ICE could be something you fall on in the winter, but it could also be slang for stolen diamonds or killing somebody. In SPLIT IMAGE, Jesse and Sunny, who had a brief affair in Beverly Hills many years ago, find themselves involved in two perplexing but unrelated cases in Paradise. Jesse's case starts when a soldier for a retired mobster is bumped off, and he soon finds that the mobster just happens to live next door to another mobster, one who is not so retired. They are not rivals as far as anybody knows. As a matter of fact, they are both married to sisters who are identical twins, hence a "split image."
Meanwhile, Sunny has been hired by the parents of a young woman who has run off to join a quasi-religious group in a town called "The Renewal." The group seems harmless enough, but they just might have a split image of their own --- and it could be far more sinister.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not surprised that this novel is a good one. I've never read one of Mr. Parker's that wasn't good. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jgtimm
Just like on TV. I can associate the people with what the TV show is.Published 1 month ago by Alfred L. Leslie III
After eight previous books, the simplicity and redundancy really comes through. Too fast of a read, or too little real content.Published 2 months ago by HerbsSpice
Jesse Stone novels are always well written and hold your attention. Makes you want to read the book in one sitting.Published 2 months ago by Mom