Night Passage (Jesse Stone Series #1)

Night Passage (Jesse Stone Series #1)

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by Robert B. Parker
     
 

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The author of two dozen Spenser novels as well as numerous other works of fiction, Robert B. Parker is no stranger to either critical or popular acclaim. With his hallmark sharp wit and taut action, Parker has created in the Spenser series the standard against which all contemporary detective novels are measured, and a character considered the paragon of private

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Overview

The author of two dozen Spenser novels as well as numerous other works of fiction, Robert B. Parker is no stranger to either critical or popular acclaim. With his hallmark sharp wit and taut action, Parker has created in the Spenser series the standard against which all contemporary detective novels are measured, and a character considered the paragon of private eyes. In Night Passage, Parker sets the bar even higher, with the introduction of Jesse Stone, a hero cut from different cloth.

After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, the thirty-five-year-old 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Newsday
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425183960
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2001
Series:
Jesse Stone Series, #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
82,685
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 4.18(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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