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Stranger in Paradise (Jesse Stone) Paperback – February 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Jesse Stone
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042522628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425226285
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jesse Stone trades quips with his deputies, Suitcase Simpson and Molly Crane; struggles with his relationship with his ex-wife, Jenn; and grapples with a criminal's return in bestseller Parker's sizzling seventh novel to feature the Paradise, Mass., police chief (after 2007's High Profile). Ex-con Wilson Crow Cromartie, who claims to be Apache and who eluded the police after a shootout 10 years earlier in Trouble in Paradise (1998), wants Stone not to interfere in his search for someone in Massachusetts. A Florida mob bigwig, Louis Francisco, has hired Crow to kill his ex-wife and kidnap his 14-year-old daughter, Amber, but Crow has a policy of not harming women. In the end, Stone does more than leave Crow alone; he decides to make sure Amber, who's involved with a Latino gang, gets a chance, however slim, to overcome the odds stacked against her. Stone and Crow make an appealing odd couple as they first warily size each other up then become grudging allies in the pursuit of justice. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

If Spencer is the invincible knight, the timeless hero of American detective fiction, then Jess Stone is the flawed hero of the moment, a man whose deficiencies define his humanity - New York Times Book Review. - deftly sketched characters - his use of genre material is always fresh. He demonstrates his continued ability to write well-constructed and literate works of detective fiction - Times Literary Supplement. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Very boring interaction between them takes up too much of the book.
Bloomsbury
I enjoyed this book as well as the other ones about Jesse Stone, I can't wait to read more.
Truckn Nana
I love the mystery of the storyline and the other characters as well.
Susan Fryman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By C. Baker VINE VOICE on February 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is definitely one of the oddest Jesse Stone novels that Robert Parker has written. In Stranger In Paradise, Stone is confronted by William "Crow" Cromartie who has come to town to bring the daughter of Miami gangster back to her father. The catch is, Crow has been instructed to kill the girl's mother and he doesn't kill women. Instead he solicits Stone to stay out of his way while he protects the girl and takes care of the other bad guys. Catch number two is, last time Crow was seen in Paradise he was speeding off with 10 million dollars leaving behind a string of bodies. Needless to say Jesse gets caught up in the matter and he and Crow become uneasy allies. Jen, Jesse's ex-wife is very much in this novel, are Molly Crane and Suitcase Simpson. And they all act oddly.

This novel was certainly entertaining and the situation rather messy. It wasn't one of my favorites though.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on February 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a gigantic fan of Robert B. Parker. I've read all of the Spenser books, the Stone books and the Randall books. And I'm slowly "re-reading" the Spenser books as audiobooks.

It is not lightly that I give this book two stars.

The Stone novels were always different than the Spenser / Sunny Randall novels. Spenser and Sunny always have that buddy network to fall back on (especially Hawk and Spike, respectively) Jesse has always been alone, except for his on-again off-again ex-wife, who actually makes his sense of being alone even stronger.

That whole formula is thrown out. Instead, we have a combination of a re-make of Spenser's April Kyle and Paul Giacomin stories told under Jesse Stone this time around. This time around we now have Amber.

Rather than Spenser's Hawk (a mysterious, unstoppable African-American who operates on the wrong side of the law that the ladies find irresistible and shares witty racial banter with Spenser) we now have Stone's Crow (a mysterious, unstoppable Native American who operates on the wrong side of the law that the ladies find irresistible and shares witty racial banter with Stone). Hawk. Crow. C'mon!

Parker often recycles previous plots (how can he not - he's written so many books!) but this was just too much for me. The story is easy to read, interesting and enjoyable, but it has too many recycled features for my taste.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on March 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Robert B. Parker's novels since 1978, which might be part of the problem with his latest offering STRANGER IN PARADISE. I love the author's writing style, his usual commentary on society and the individual, and his one-liners. All of those are present in the latest book, but in some ways too many of the same plots are revisited in this one.

This is the seventh Jesse Stone novel. Stone is a former Los Angeles policeman turned drunk turned small town Paradise, Massachusetts police chief. He's also struggling through working out a relationship with his ex-wife Jennifer, which has been one of the on-going subplots of the series. That particular subplot has gotten a little irritating at times because it doesn't seem to be going anywhere but constantly looms over every book.

The book had a lot of potential. Wilson Cromartie, a villain from an earlier book, puts in an appearance to tell Jesse he's going to be around town for a while. Ten years ago, Crow - the name he's called throughout the book - was part of an armed robbery gang. At the end of that, Crow chose not to harm the women hostages the gang had but managed to escape with ten million dollars.

This time around, Crow is in town working on a case, looking for the daughter of a big-time Mafia guy in Florida. I really enjoyed the way Crow and Jesse got a feel for each other and acknowledged how dangerous the other could be. When it comes to pared-down prose and tough guys, nobody delivers the goods the way Parker does.

As it turns out, Amber Francisco is a fourteen-year old mess being raised by her white trash mother. I didn't quite see how the mother went from living the high lifestyle in Florida to living a life barely getting by in Paradise, but I went with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Randy Reader on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was super excited to read this book but ended up dissapointed. I couldn't get passed the "Jesse said and Crow said and Molly said after EVERY sentence. Incredibly redundant, which makes it difficult to follow.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peterack VINE VOICE on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a life long reader of Parkers work, and find "Stranger in Paradise" to be very disappointing, and hope this is not a trend. Back in the mid 90's Parker's books (referred by a Mystery Bookstore owner as "Dick and Jane books") tended to have short, snappy, funny dialogue and a very trim plot. In recent years, thankfully Parker found his writer's voice again and the books have been good to great.

Yet, I find with this book and the recent Spenser novel: "Now and Then" that the author is taking a turn. I am not sure of the cause of this, but Stranger in Paradise is one of Parker's worse (though a "bad" book by him, still earns 3 stars, in my humble opinion).

In short there are sooo many unexplained, plot/character points that make this book a nothing. We do not get a clear sense of a young runaway's problems, we see characters come in and out; some die, others mysteriously disappear and so much happens, to new, and ongoing characters that are explained in the book via "a person's got to do what a person's got to do."

LIGHT SPOILERS THIS PARAGRAPH ONLY: A woman voluntarily sleeps with a man who was part of a nightmarish situation years ago; another woman, happily married with children, sleeps with a criminal...just once; a man whose wife and child left him years ago suddenly wants one back and one killed; the reason behind these and more plot points and character motives? "A person has to do what a person has to do?"

Through this the author lazily escapes from having to come with reasons for actions, back-story and a fuller plot. Finally, my disappointment goes to the fact that like Jesse is a darker version of Spenser, I was interested to read about Crow who was a darker side of Hawk (from the Spenser books), but nothing panned out.
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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.

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