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Trouble in Paradise (Jesse Stone Novels (Audio)) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.2 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews
Book 2 of 13 in the A Jesse Stone Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Robert Parker's Trouble in Paradise imagines an old-fashioned tough guys' world where most of the women are summed up by their figures and the men are measured by their ability to intimidate. Chief Jesse Stone of Paradise, Massachusetts, is Parker's hero again in this sequel to Night Passage. When he's not thinking about what his girlfriends look like under their clothes, Stone's touring his beat, hanging out at the Gray Gull Hotel bar to get intelligence on local thugs, or interrogating teens about their destructive pranks. But he has a vulnerable side, too, and Parker adds new layers of depth and complexity to his latest series character. Jesse's still reeling from his divorce. He and his ex-wife, Jenn, are not entirely ready to let go. In fact, Jenn has followed Jesse east from L.A. and is suffering in the Boston climate as one of the anchors on the local news. Romance with Jenn is further complicated by Jesse's ongoing attraction to attorney Abby Taylor and his emerging relationship with realtor Marcy Campbell.

Jesse's domestic troubles are gradually overshadowed, however, when ex-con Jimmy Macklin arrives in town. Macklin plans to pull "the mother of all stickups" on the ritzy Stiles Island in Paradise Harbor. He has figured out that the Stiles Island bridge, with its underpinning of utility cables and pipes, is a veritable lifeline to the mainland, and he's gathered a rogues' gallery of professional crooks and killers to help him take the bridge and make the island into a thieves' paradise. The one problem: Macklin never figured that Paradise, Massachusetts, would have a police chief as tough and resourceful as Jesse Stone.

As usual, Parker's stark and facile prose perfectly complements the masculine sufferings of his hero, and the action of the novel unfolds with an effortlessness that intimates a craftsman at work. With Parker's Spenser safely canonized as a detective fiction legend, Jesse Stone's unfolding world offers a welcome new addition to Parker's ouevre. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Tough and tight, Parker's second Jesse Stone crime novel (after last year's Night Passage) finds the chief of police of modest Paradise, Mass., battling a ruthless gang of thieves even as he jousts with personal demons. Two parallel plotlines tell the story. One follows career criminal James Macklin and his moll, Faye, and their planning and subsequent execution of the heist of all the money and valuables on super-rich Stiles Island, which is connected by bridge to Paradise. Meanwhile, there's Stone, a cool customer who's not afraid to step on wealthy toes but who can't get his love life in order and can barely control his taste for booze. The crime line is the stronger of the two, traced in prose as lean as any Parker has wrought, a grand little caper tale in its own right as Macklin collects a rogue's gallery of accomplices, isolates Stiles Island by dynamiting its bridge and harbor, then preys upon its inhabitants. Stone's romantic entanglements, particularly his troubled relationship with his ex-wife, add texture to the novel and are notably less sentimental than the amours of his Spenser stories. They manifest at times in a histrionic way, however?as when the ex assaults a woman trying to get Stone fired?that retards the surge of the crime story. Stone remains a magnetic character, as silent as Spenser is chatty but equally strong, though likely too enigmatic at this juncture to engender the sort of reader affection that Spenser enjoys. Parker fans and all who love muscular crime writing will appreciate this tale, as the Boston-based crime master once again shows how to do it well, and with style. BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Jesse Stone Novels (Audio) (Book 1)
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553525255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553525250
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,886,162 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
Jesse Stone got off to a shaky start in "Night Passage." In this second outing for the character, Parker has come quickly up to speed and I'm glad. I've read ever book this author has written and suffered through the occasional doldrums. This novel was like returning home.As a cop, I read crime fiction with a sharp - and somewhat jaundiced - eye. I can find fault with minor details in this book, but not enough to get in the way of enjoying it. The plot moves along at a good pace, switching points of view with alternating chapters. It is somewhat cinematic in this respect, telling the story from both places and allowing the reader to more fully understand the story. The characters are solid and well written. A hero like Stone or Spenser needs quality villains to oppose and there are two in this one, if you don't count the townswoman of whom Stone makes an enemy in the course of doing his job.If there are more Jesse Stone novels to come, bring them on! I'll enjoy learning more about his world, just as I did learning about Spenser's.
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Format: Hardcover
Is it me, or are the Spenser novels getting a little stale? Parker seems to have started telling the same story over and over again, from Crimson Joy on up to the present. Spenser always knows what to do to make things come out perfectly. Does anyone remember the early Spenser, who didn't always know what to do? The Spenser of "Mortal Stakes" (a brilliant detective novel) who ambushed and murdered the villian and his cohort so that his clients could get out from beneath their shadow? I miss the Spenser who who committed morally suspect acts in order to fulfull his own personal code. And then came Jesse Stone, Parker's alternate protagonist. He's troubled, he's flawed, he's an incomplete human being trying to find a new place for himself. He doesn't always know what to do, and he has potential to mess up. Parker was on the verge of rediscovering depth of character in "Night Passage" and he's found it with "Trouble In Paradise." In the villain Macklin (among others...all the criminals in this book are amazing) we see a character who makes sense because his motivations are in place: he's greedy, he wants money, and he downright enjoys being a criminal. Further, Parker shows his incredible understanding of small town Massachusetts dynamics, politics, and corruption in the Jesse Stone books. He truly is on the verge of becoming great again as author. Give him a chance.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When reading any of Robert Parker's novels it's difficult not to compare his protagonist with Spenser, Parker's most famous character. However, Jesse Stone, police chief of Paradise, Mass. is not Spenser. He is Spenser-like in that he's self assured, competent, and has a dry sense of humor.
The story revolves around an attempted heist of all the valuables on ritzy Stiles Island. Career criminal James Macklin assembles a crew of specialists who plan to isolate the island from the nearby mainland and at their leisure pluck all of the residents clean of anything valuable. Of course, they don't realize they'll have to deal with Jesse Stone.
I didn't like the book as much as I like the Spenser novels. This is probably not fair to Parker because when this book is compared to other authors in writing in the same genre it is very good indeed. The sharp Parker dialogue is there along with the rapidly moving pace of the whole novel. A real Chief of Police wouldn't be able to get away with some of the things that Jesse Stone does, but hey, this IS fiction after all. All-in-all a good book for mystery lovers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
...I like the fact that with a little wilfull suspension of disbelief, I can resume my love of Spenser through a new character. I can't help but think that each time I read a new Spenser that he's getting too old to do the stuff that he does. I also like Stone's ability to be "human" without resenting Susan (who can't make up her mind about her relationship with Spenser after 20-some-odd years). Jesse Stone is battling alcoholism, failed relationships and cuckoldery. But, best of all, he's tough, smart and allows me to be a tough guy by proxy. I am continually amazed at the efficiency in Parker's writing. In very few words, I am able to identify with characters and understand what motivates them and what keeps them realistic. I hope that Mr. Parker will continue with this series, but I hope Spenser lives, too!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second of Parker's new series, and Jesse Stone is being well developed. He definitely isn't a Spenser clone. He's more serious and more fallible. Actually, he's more human and easier to identify with.
This particular book pits him against a gang of five, two of which are indeed formidable, along with a woman who's formidable because of her love for one of the bad guys. The 3rd person narrative allows us to get a better picture of the bad guys and exactly what they're doing than we get in Spenser's 1st person narratives.
Jesse Stone isn't as fast with the wise cracks and snappy dialogue as Spenser is, but the two main crooks give us a lot of snappy dialogue. In fact, one restaurant conversation between Macklin and Crow could've easily been between Spenser and Hawk.
Lots to notice in the book. Jenn is going to a Cambridge shrink. Could that shrink be somebody we Spenser fans know well? A base of characters is being built up here, and I'm sure we'll see some of them in future books. Tony Marcus shows up, but notice that Stone doesn't meet him, so they're unaware of each other. A lot of readers are concerned about Sloan's drinking and his sex habits. It seems to me that he's not truly an alcoholic and is keeping his drinking under control. As far as whether he's practicing safe sex or not...well, Parker doesn't really tell us whether he's taking precautions or not.
Important thing is that this is a fun read. The short chapters are hooks though...like salted peanuts, one always needs one more. And I disagree with anyone who implies these books are quickly forgotten. I'm surprised when I come across references to the previous book as to how much I do remember.
If Parker is indeed easing Spenser out the door, Sloan may well be the more interesting of Parker's new series heroes.
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