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Stone Cold (Jesse Stone Novels) Paperback – September 28, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews
Book 4 of 13 in the A Jesse Stone Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's taken four novels, but finally Parker's Jesse Stone series has produced a book as good as top-drawer Spenser. This outing finds the laconic, troubled cop tackling three problems: to capture the pair of serial killers who are murdering random victims in small-town Paradise, Mass., where Stone is chief of police; to bring to justice the three high-school students who gang-raped a younger schoolmate; and to come to terms with his love of both alcohol and his ex-wife, Jenn. The serial killers, revealed early to the reader and soon enough to Stone, are a married yuppie pair who taunt Stone, whom they take as a dumb hick cop, as he collects evidence to bring them down; his pursuit of them leads them to kill someone close to him, then to target Stone himself, and eventually to an emotionally cathartic climax in Toronto, where the killers have fled. That story line serves as a fine little police procedural, but Parker is at his max here when following the rape plot, especially in scenes in which Stone, in his cool, compassionate way, tries to help the besieged victim as best he can. Meanwhile, under intense media attention and pressure from town elders for the ongoing serial killings, Stone works his way toward an understanding of the roles that booze and Jenn play in his life. Told in third-person prose that's a model of economy, with sharp action sequences, deep yet unobtrusive character exploration and none of the cuteness that can mar the Spenser novels, this is prime Parker, testament to why he was named a Grand Master at the 2002 Edgar Awards.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is an addictive personality. Booze cost him his job as a homicide detective with the LAPD, and after that blew up, he traveled across the country to be near his ex-wife, television journalist Jenn. He refuses to believe it's over between them, and she doesn't help with her come-hither, leave-me-alone mood swings. But the qualities making his personal life hell also make him a good cop. You don't want Jesse to get you in his sights if you're a criminal. The baddies in this case are a couple who target their victims based on looks, stalk them, and kill them with two simultaneous shots from identical .22 caliber pistols. While hunting the psychos, Jesse is also after three middle-class juvenile predators who raped a classmate. Stone is much like Parker's Spenser, but with self-doubt overriding self-confidence. That formula worked fine in the first two Stone novels, but this one is less successful. Too much dime-store psychology between Stone and his Zen therapist; too much love-for-the-ages blather between Stone and his ex; and too much squad-room violence between Stone and his prisoners. Stone is a worthy character, but this is not the novel to make the case. But that doesn't mean Parker's fans won't want the chance to decide for themselves. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jesse Stone Novels
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (September 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042519874X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425198742
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,719 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
Robert Parker has created an enigma with his character Jesse Stone. Just when you are sure that you know what Jesse will choose to do next, you are surprised.
In this novel, a pair of serial murderers is running rampant in Jesse Stone's small town. The motive is unfathomable, but then, they ARE serial killers. While Jesse and his police force track the killers, not only the why, but the who will be next question hangs densely in the air.
While the investigation proceeds, Jesse becomes more or less involved with a couple of different women, when his ex-wife enters the picture.
In the center of this novel is the third line of the story involving a young girl who claims to have been raped by some of the jocks at her school. The way Jesse handles this investigation is a wonderful new facet to this character.
The mix of emotions is nearly volatile, and as another murder occurs, you begin to wonder how will Robert PArker bring the story together. I thought the serial killers were a little vague, as characters, but still the surprising twists and turns of this author never fail to capture the readers full attention.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Robert B. Parker for what seems like ages and have been sorely disappointed and verbally assailing in my reviews of some of his more recent offerings. The jazz, the juice, the stuff that makes RBP, well, RBP, seemed to be gone. Where was the drama, the thick plots, the wit? My feeling was RBP was waning into literary obscurity. So, now, STONE COLD comes along. Not a Spenser novel but a Jesse Stone novel. Well, whatever RBP did to inspire himself relative to creating this storyline, he needs to stay with it. STONE COLD returns RBP to his roots, that of vehement distaste for the "bad guys," love for the hero, and some good old fashioned retribution.
For those unfamiliar with Jesse Stone, he is Spenser's career contemporary albeit his personal antithesis. Jesse is the police chief of Paradise (a community on Boston's North Shore), a functional alcholic, and milktoast in the hands of his ex-wife who is blatantly audacious and Jesse's personal nemesis. Suffice it to say that Jesse is quite human, at times, a little too much so.
A man's body has appeared on the beach, two bullet holes in his heart. There is no evidence to speak of and the investigation runs short before it begins. Shortly thereafter, another victim turns up, this time in the parking lot of the Paradise Mall. She was shot twice in the chest as she unloaded her groceries. Jesse has a bad feeling confirmed when he receives the news that the bullets in both murders came from the same gun. A serial killer.
In the meantime, in a parallel story, a local high school girl has been raped and has come to Jesse for help. What Jesse does here is pure Parker. This is what Parker's fans love.
Jesse's incredibly dysfunctional relationship with Jenn, his ex-wife, continues.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on January 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As others have noted, this is not a big book. Lots of white space - I think it was a one day read for me.
I have enjoyed the other Jesse Stone novels, but I guess the author needs to come up with something new. This is same-old-same-old.
1) Stone can't get over the ex-wife not matter what she does are how bad she treats him
2) Every good looking woman Stone meets wants to take him to bed, and almost without fail Stone goes along.
There is no mystery in the book as the author shows you "who done it" at the start. Nor is there much drama or excitement when the guilty are caught.
Might be worth a read at the cost of a paperback, or free from the library.
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By A Customer on January 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The new Jesse Stone book by Robert Parker seems to be the best of this series, with the Paradise chief of police becoming a deeper, if darker, figure for readers to understand. As usual, about 90 percent of what we know from reading the new book comes from tight dialogue and spare description. Writing this tight and lean requires an enormous amount of skill, which Parker has in abundance. This time around, Jesse must cope with serial killers who get sexual pleasure from staging and anticipating their killings. In short order, they select Jesse himself as their next victim, and he moves ever closer to a brutal showdown for someone. Meanwhile, Jesse is trying to come to grips with his ex-wife, Jenn, still tugging at his heart, if not his brain. Razor-sharp dialogue as usual, with Jesse Stone more and more becoming a strong figure we care very much about. A good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jesse Stone is the beleaguered chief of police in tiny Paradise, Mass. He has ended up there after his job as a cop in Los Angeles, alcohol, and his ex-wife have forced him to redirect his life. Parker's Stone is an appealing character. He takes it one day at time, is a man of principle, and takes his new job seriously.

It is Stone's calmness and instincts as a cop that serve him well in investigating a series of seemingly linked killings in Paradise - something new in this small town. Though the strong, silent type, his sensitivity is evident in his handling of a sexual assault case in the local high school.

Stone has managed to get his alcohol abuse under control, but his ex-wife Jenn, a local TV personality, continues to bedevil him. He simply cannot move on without her, and this is despite his obvious appeal to other attractive and smart women.

The character of Jesse Stone is the reason to read this book, though it is mildly disappointing that the author really gives us little of his background. In addition the perpetrators of the murdering spree remain mostly a puzzle. How did they get to this point? Basically the book is a quick and enjoyable read.
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