Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Night Passage (Jesse Stone Series #1)

Night Passage (Jesse Stone Series #1)

4.0 58
by Robert B. Parker

See All Formats & Editions

After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, the thirty-five-year-old Jesse Stone's future looks bleak. So he's shocked when a small Massachusetts town called Paradise recruits him as police chief. He can't help wondering if this job is a genuine chance to start over, the kind of offer he can't


After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, the thirty-five-year-old Jesse Stone's future looks bleak. So he's shocked when a small Massachusetts town called Paradise recruits him as police chief. He can't help wondering if this job is a genuine chance to start over, the kind of offer he can't refuse.

Once on board, Jesse doesn't have to look for trouble in Paradise: it comes to him. For what is on the surface a quiet New England community quickly proves to be a crucible of political and moral corruption—replete with triple homicide, tight Boston mob ties, flamboyantly errant spouses, maddened militiamen and a psychopath-about-town who has fixed his violent sights on the new lawman. Against all this, Jesse stands utterly alone, with no one to trust; even he and the woman he's seeing are like ships that pass in the night. He finds he must test his mettle and powers of command to emerge a local hero—or the deadest of dupes.

As the flagship volume in a new series featuring a complex and engaging sleuth, Night Passage is cause for celebration.

Editorial Reviews

Jesse Stone, the protagonist of Night Passage, is separated from Parker's Spenser by more than a first name. A former L.A. homicide cop with a drinking problem, a broken marriage, and some lost dreams, Stone has just been hired to be police chief of the small Massachusetts town of Paradise. The Paradise power brokers are sure surprised when Stone not only doesn't look the other way at various goings-on but also starts looking into such matters as money laundering, militia activities, and murder. Unlike Spenser, who arrived fully formed in 1974, Stone has some pieces damaged or missing, giving Parker plenty to work with in future entries.

—Nancy Pate

Parker's sentences flow with as much wit, grace and assurance as ever, and Stone is a complex and consistently interesting new protagonist.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Great series characters can wind up tyrannizing their creators, who often seek relief in secondary series heroes. But Professor Challenger didn't save Conan Doyle from Holmes, Tiger Mann never put the kibosh on Spillane's Mike Hammerand Jessie Stone, though a finely wrought protagonist, won't keep Parker's fans from clamoring for ever more Spenser stories. Parker writes of Stone, an alcoholic cop booted out of L.A. Homicide only to be offered a job as police chief of a small Massachusetts town, in the third person, and his plotting suffers from the resultant multiple viewpoints. With Parker playing nearly all his cards face-up, there's little mystery and no suspense as Jesse uncovers, then foils, a murderous conspiracy on the part of a town official and his white-power militia. Also, many of the supporting charactersthe official, his bully of a sidekick, a couple of mobsters and a burned-out teen whom Jesse befriendswill seem, though crisply carved, too familiar to Spenser devotees. And so will Jesse, for although alluringly moody and silent, he is, like Spenser, a tough man of honor who gets the job done. What's less predictable here are the complex, expertly shaded relationships, especially romantic, as Jesse flails and fails at loving both his ex-wife and his new girlfriend. The most powerful romance here, though, is between Parker and the written word. He has employed the third person before, most notably in Wilderness and the cop saga All Our Yesterdays. Still, his doing so is sufficiently rare that it is exceedingly satisfying to watch this prose master lay down his cool, clean lines from outside someone's skin. 125,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The creator of the famed Spenser novels introduces a new detective series.
Kirkus Reviews
After 24 Spenser titles (Small Vices, p. 90, etc.), Parker branches out with this tale of Jesse Stone, who's eased out of LAPD Homicide by his divorce-driven drinking, then hired by the sharp town fathers of Paradise, Mass., to replace Chief Tom Carson, who found out a little too much about Paradise. And there's lots to find out, because Board of Selectmen chair Hasty Hathaway—whose credentials also include heading Freedom's Horsemen, the local Aryan supremacist militia—is in bed with organized crime guys from Boston. Hasty's also in bed with Tammy Portugal (though you can hardly blame him: Mrs. Hasty is getting nasty with everybody in town but him); and when Tammy threatens to go public with their affair unless Hasty makes an honest woman of her, the stage is set for a no-holds-barred confrontation between Hasty, his crime connections (especially his fix-it man, body-builder Jo Jo Genest), his crooked cops, and Freedom's Horsemen (on one side) and taciturn loner Jesse (on the other). Longtime Spenser fans, who have been enjoying the clipped phone dialogue between Jesse and his ex, will be smacking their lips. But then, suddenly, everything's too easy. Jesse gets his drinking under control and makes key friends in Paradise. His force closes ranks behind him. The big-time mobsters get busy fighting among themselves. Jo Jo crumbles. Freedom's Horsemen implode. Don't even ask about Hasty.

You can always rely on Parker for some great talk and great scenes. But you'll have to wait for later entries in this new series for a great story.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jesse Stone Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 4.18(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 17, 1932
Date of Death:
January 18, 2010
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Night Passage 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main character, Jesse Stone, is a believable fallen hero. I loved the witty and concise dialogue and the mixture of suspense and romance. This book is well written despite it being such an easy read. I recommend this if you are looking for relaxed entertainment.
oldwomanMG More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am an avid mystery reader but became interested in this series after seeing one of the books that was made in to a TV movie. Couldn't put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good characters, particularly Jesse Stone. The small town feel is very accurate, with many sub-plots to hold your interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those of you who have read other reviews know that I stumbled upon an old tupperware tub in my house filled with old books belonging to myself and my husband. I have since read a few of Robert Parker's novels, and again, this is my first read of NIGHT PASSAGE. Coming from Massachusetts, I love taking quick trips back home through Robert Parker's characters. And when I only have time for a few chapters, his writing works for me. The problem with this book is that I expected more. I think that I have read enough of Mr. Parker to begin to favor some books over others. Some reviewers have said that they were sick of listening to ex-spouses express their undying love for each other while on the telephone at night, sharing a drink. I tend to agree. That became old rather quickly. I too, wish Mr. Parker had spent more time putting more detail in what could have been an even greater detective book. I would have understood more if this was the first book he had written, but I felt that he penned it rather quickly and sent it along for publication without giving it much thought. That said, I read this book in about 3 days and did enjoy it as a fluffy, fast paced, short chapter read. J.R. Reardon author, CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a big fan of the Spenser novels, Night Passage is Robert Parker at his best. The character of Jesse Stone is complicated and conflicted and the story line makes you want to continue reading to its conclusion and then will make you want to read more. Night Passage is the first of the Jesse Stone Series and after reading it, I've since purchased and read all of Parker's Jesse Stone Series books. They are quick reads, entertaining and fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book in this series has convinced me to read more of them.
SamsArt More than 1 year ago
I am a long time Parker fan, and upon seeing an ad for the Jesse Stone series, I set about reading and acquiring them. I enjoy Parker's skill at character creation. Flawed, but with a code that makes them do the right thing, and the hard thing. 
RonJames More than 1 year ago
Jesse Stone book that's a nice comfortable read. I'll be buying the next one in the series soon.
LynnS More than 1 year ago
Great mystery that keeps you reading until the end. The ending took me by surprise which always makes the mystery more memorable. Looking forward to reading the rest of the Jesse Stone Series.
SadieSueMarie More than 1 year ago
I have seen the show on TV, and it made it easy to put faces with the names in the book, and that made for an easy read. I have decided I will order the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband and I became interested in the movies, so I decided to read the book. The story is great but different from the movie. I think I really like the movie characters, and it is hard to loose some essential aspects of the movie when reading the book. Should be the other way around. Still I think the book is fun and well written.
draybun More than 1 year ago
will be reading the entire series
Rusty85NV More than 1 year ago
When I read each of these Jesse Stone books I always sense the easy going style of the character of the small town Police Chief, as played by Tom Selleck, in the previous TV Movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have seem the Jesse Stone series starring Tom Selleck and liked it, you'll enjoy this book. It's characters are well developed and it's a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
255 pages I enjoyed the story and will read more of the series. It helps to have seen some of the tv shows so you have face with the name. Tom Selleck plays him well. Good mystery.
ThePolyBlog More than 1 year ago
BOTTOM-LINE: Decent start to a new Parker series . PLOT OR PREMISE: This is the first one in the Jesse Stone series. Jesse is a washed-up homicide detective from L.A. who climbed into a bottle and lost his wife to a L.A. player. But a small town in Massachusetts called Paradise recruits him as their new police chief...and Jesse jumps at it to save his own life. . WHAT I LIKED: Things are not as they appear in Paradise because the town leader has started his own little militia designed to fight back when the eventual downfall of America occurs. The previous chief of police has been sent packing and the town council wants someone they can control. Unfortunately, Jesse isn't it. The focus of this first story is on Jesse getting sober, finding out what really happened to the last chief, finding out what is going on in Paradise with the town leader, and when he has time, figuring out what's going on in his personal life. A refreshing change from the Spenser series because there is no Hawk and there is no Susan to back him up, there's just him. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Vinnie and Joe from the Spenser series show up, but are more for comic relief than anything. Stone's ex-wife and new girlfriend are more co-dependant than helpful. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I was not personal friends with the author, nor did I follow him on social media.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jesse Stone does not disappoint! If Spencer is perfect, Jesse Stone is a little more from the common clay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MargoH More than 1 year ago
Must-read for Robert Parker fans As a fan of Robert Parker I have read almost all the books in the Spenser series, and before Night Passage I had read, long ago, only 3 or 4 others in the Jesse Stone Series. Night Passage is the very first in the Jesse Stone series, and I had avoided Jesse Stone because I thought nothing could beat Spenser’s exploits. It turns out however that Night Passage is one of the best of all the Parker novels I have read. If you want to read the Jesse Stone novels, I highly recommend that you start with this one. Stone had been fired from the LAPD for drinking on the job, and the police chief job in tiny Paradise, Massachusetts was the only job he could get. Hired by a corrupt city official in a corrupt town, Stone was expected, as a fallen cop, to be easily manipulated. Jesse Stone proves to be anything but. Not surprisingly, in midst of his struggles with taking out dangerous criminals, Jesse is faced with some difficult decisions in his romantic life. As always, Parker’s stories involve ethical in which in which the difference between right and wrong is not always clear. Parker’s writing has an intellectual tone that is beyond that of most murder mystery writers. Jesse Stone is my kind of hero – a hero with flaws. He reminds me a bit of another of my favorites - Jo Nesbo’s Norwegian alcoholic homicide investigator, Harry Hole. I was so pleased with this novel that I now plan to read the later Stone novels I ignored before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has too much agnst and noir for me. Spenser maintains the movie hero type and prefer it. Will try another at library as cant afford all ihose not keepers to re read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago