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“No one understands what makes Bob Parker’s Jesse Stone tick better than Michael Brandman...” —Tom Selleck, star of the Jesse Stone TV movies
“If Spencer is the invincible knight, the timeless hero of American detective fiction, then Jesse Stone is the flawed hero of the moment.”—The New York Times Book Review
Jesse Stone’s cruiser pulled up to the stop sign on Paradise Road, preparing to make a right turn onto Country Club Way.
A warm fall breeze blew gently through the cruiser’s open windows. The red and yellow leaves of the elms and maples fluttered haphazardly in the wind. Jesse raised his face to the early morning sun.
He noticed the car on his left, a late-model Audi A5 coupe,
come to a complete stop beside him. When the driver looked in his direction, Jesse nodded to him. The Audi pulled away and proceeded through the intersection. A Mercedes sedan barreled through the stop sign and broadsided the Audi. The Mercedes was doing at least fifty in a twenty-five-mile-per-hour zone.
The Audi collapsed into itself. The impact punched it off the road and into a ditch, where it bounced precariously a couple of times before sliding to an upright stop.
The alarm systems on both cars began to shriek. Front and side air bags deployed in a vicious rush of compressed air, pinning both drivers to their seats.
The Mercedes was driven by a young female. Jesse had seen her looking down as she ran the stop sign. She must have been texting.
He grabbed his cell phone and called the station.
Molly Crane answered.
“I’ve got a bad one at the corner of Paradise and Country Club. Send the entire sideshow. Ambulance. CSI unit. Hazmat team. Also Suitcase.”
“I’m on it, Jesse.”
“Oh, and call Carter Hansen, will you? Tell him I’ll be late.”
Jesse switched on the flashing light bar on top of his cruiser and inched closer to the accident. He stopped in front of the Audi, got out, and walked over to it.
The driver had been immobilized by the deployed air bags. He was sandwiched tightly between his seat and the bag.
He was middle- aged and overweight, wearing a navy blue sport jacket, a button- down white dress shirt, and a gray- and-pink polka-dot bow tie. A chevron-style mustache concealed his upper lip. He was unconscious.
Jesse called out to him.
“Can you hear me, sir?”
There was no response.
Jesse pulled open the door. He reached inside, disabled the alarm system, and used his Leatherman to deflate the air bags.
The man slumped back in his seat. Blood seeped from his nose.
Jesse checked for a pulse.
At least the guy was alive.
Jesse turned and stepped over to the Mercedes.
The teenage driver had also been pinned by the air bags. She wore a uniform bearing the insignia of one of Paradise’s best private schools. Unlike the other driver, she was awake and alert.
“Are you hurt,” Jesse said.
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“Just get me out of this fucking car,” she said.
Jesse looked at her. Satisfied that she wasn’t injured, he circled the Mercedes, checking for damage. Despite the intensity of the crash, the car was relatively intact. He opened the passenger-side door and spotted the item he was looking for.
He walked back to the cruiser, retrieved an evidence bag, then returned to the Mercedes. Slipping a rubber glove on his right hand, he reached beneath the still-inflated air bag and grabbed the iPhone from the car floor.
“What are you doing,” the girl said. “Why aren’t you getting me out of here?”
Jesse ignored her.
He bagged the phone and put it inside his cruiser.
When he returned to the Mercedes, the girl was attempting to wriggle her way out of it.
“Be easier if I deflate the air bags,” Jesse said.
“Then what are you waiting for,” she said.
Jesse poked the air bags with his Leatherman. He also disabled the alarm system. The quiet was a blessing.
Now freed, the young woman opened her door and started to get out.
Jesse pushed the door closed.
“Stay where you are until the medics arrive.”
“Don’t tell me what to do,” she said, struggling to open the door.
“I’m instructing you not to get out of the car until you’re seen by a medic.”
“I’m totally fine. Even a moron can see that.”
Jesse looked at her.
He removed a pair of handcuffs from his service belt. He grabbed the girl’s left wrist and cuffed it to the steering wheel.
He heard sirens in the distance.
“What do you think you’re doing,” she said.
“You do know it’s illegal to text while driving?”
The girl didn’t respond.
“There’s an injured man in the car that you hit.”
“It was an accident.”
“Caused by you.” “Have you any idea who I am?”
“Have you no concern for the other driver?”
“Yeah, sure. Of course. Courtney Cassidy.”
“I’m Courtney Cassidy.”
Jesse remained silent.
“My father is Richard Cassidy.”
The sirens grew closer.
“I want my phone,” she said.
“It’s been placed into evidence.”
“What do you mean it’s been placed into evidence?”
“I confiscated it.”
“I want to speak to my father.”
“You can make a phone call when you get to the police station.”
“I’m not going to the police station.”
Jesse looked at her for a few moments. Then he walked away.
“Hey,” she called after him.
He ignored her.
She called again.
“Hey, dickwad,” she said.
Another police cruiser and an ambulance appeared on Paradise Road, sirens blaring, lights flashing. They pulled to a stop near Courtney’s Mercedes.
Suitcase Simpson emerged from the cruiser. He spotted Jesse and walked toward him.
Two EMTs got out of the ambulance. Jesse pointed them to the Audi.
“What happened,” Suitcase said.
“Girl was texting. She ran the stop sign and hit the Audi.”
Suitcase looked over at her.
“Why is she cuffed to the steering wheel?”
“If the medics clear her, you can arrest her.”
“Reckless endangerment. Running a stop sign. Texting while driving. Resisting arrest. Arrogance.”
“I don’t think arrogance is a chargeable offense, Jesse,” Suitcase said.
“Okay. Forget arrogance. Make a big deal out of reading her rights, though. Do it slowly and deliberately.”
“Because I don’t like her,” Jesse said.
The medics were now at the Mercedes, evaluating Courtney. One of them stepped away and spoke to Jesse and Suitcase.
“Guy’s floating in and out of it,” he said. “Looks like he suffered some head trauma. We’ll take him to Paradise General.”
“The girl,” Jesse said.
“She seems okay,” the medic said. “If you’re going to have an accident, probably best it be in a Mercedes.”
“You taking her to the hospital, too,” Suitcase said.
“We’re not quite finished examining her, but it doesn’t appear necessary. Is there anyone who can remove the handcuff s, by the way?”
Jesse handed the key to Suitcase.
“Cell phones,” Jesse said with a snort. “Big-time dangerous. There need to be more serious consequences for using them while driving. The current laws are a joke.”
After her handcuffs were removed, Courtney got out of the damaged Mercedes and headed in Jesse’s direction.
She might one day be pretty, Jesse thought, but today wasn’t that day. Her flat-ironed yellow hair hung limply around her plain round face, still plump with the last vestiges of baby fat. Her makeup was heavy and inexpertly applied. Her green plaid uniform was as flattering as a prison jumpsuit. Her pale blue eyes, however, flashed defiance.
“Will one of you call my parents. I want to go home,” she said.
“No, ma’am,” Jesse said.
She moved closer to him.
“I said I want to go home.”
“You’re under arrest,” Jesse said. “You’re going to jail.”
“You can’t arrest me. I’m Courtney Cassidy.”
Jesse looked at her.
Then he turned to Suitcase and said, “Book her, Danno.”
Posted September 14, 2012
Having read Parker's Spenser and Stone novels for over 20 plus years, I have to say that Brandman's done a great job with continuing the Stone legacy.
While Spenser was terse, Stone has always waxed more profane.. one of the benefits of Paker's very different characters.
While Spenser was, I think, Parker's alter-ego, Stone is a more damaged less self confident personality. Brandman carries that well. Still all a part of Parker, but not as brazen as Spenser.
Crow was introduced early on in the Stone novels. First, as a nemisis; then with a grudging but growing respect from Stone.
Nothing at all like the relationship between Hawk and Spenser.
If you're looking for a Spenser novel you will be sorely disappoitned. This is a Stone novel, and Parker was always distinct in the difference.
And really airbags do deflate after deployment, and many hand guns are chambered for different rounds.
Overall a good read..
I personally think there will be more Stone novels. I do believe Spenser died with Parker, as it should be.
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2012
This reads likes a bad parody of the late Robert B. Parker's work. Fans of the Spenser and Jesse Stone novels will find this a difficult read. Brandman captures Parker's terse dialogue for the first two chapters, but soon enough Stone is delivering rambling speeches about the environment. He can't even keep basic facts right. Guns in .38 caliber are revolvers, not automatics. And there's no such thing as a ".45-millimeter" pistol. Automobile air bags are self-deflating. They don't have to be popped like balloons after an accident. You can't drive a Prius with the lights off, and there is no "silent electric" mode you can select when driving said Prius. Worse, there is a Native American sidekick named "Crow." Does anyone remember Hawk from the Spenser novels? I want my money back.
6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2012
Good read but "a cat". Jesse Stone has had dogs in all books and a cat (even though I am a cat person) threw me off from the start.
I will miss Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone very much and was glad to have something similar to Jesse in this book but its just not
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2012
With the passing of Robert Parker, I was afraid that Jesse Stone would also pass. The first of the new Jesse Stone books was something of a relief. This one, Fool Me Twice, was a disappointment. From a plotting standpoint, I thought that the development was barely more than skeletal...neither the story nor the characters were well fleshed out. From a professional viewpoint, Crow is a professional. He would never have left his principal for even an instant given an active threat. And, from a character view, given Crow's history, I feel confident that his reaction to the perpetrator would have been far different and certainly more permanent than what was portrayed in this story. I believe this author is a very good writer but this was a failed effort.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2012
I'm a big fan of these books, but it's become the same old story with new characters and new names. The author had better get a new plot line or he will not have readers coming back for more. It's the same Jesse, but he needs to move on.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2012
As a fan of Robert Parker's novels, I was saddened by his passing for the literary world, along with his family has suffered a great loss. I have read the Spenser series, Jess Stone series and Sunny Randall series, greatly enjoying the complexity of the characters and their adventures. Mr. Parker made the characters relatable and likeable; even the bad guys.
I felt that with the passing of Mr. Parker, his characters (Spenser, Susan, Hawk, Jesse, Molly, Suitcase Simpson, Sunny Randall, Crow, etc...) had also passed. However, the task of trying to fill Mr. Parker's large literary shoes has been attempted by those who worked with him and professed to know him and his characters so well. I will honestly say that I was not impressed with Mr. Brandman's attempt at the first Jesse Stone novel that he wrote following Mr. Parker's passing. He moved Jesse from the condo to a house and traded his Ozzie Smith poster for a cat. Jesse drinks "fancy beers" now and seems so much more aggressive. Molly doesn't refer to herself as an "Irish Catholic mother" and Suitcase Simpson no longer aspires to be the first detective on the Paradise police squad when they start to have detectives. All of these familiar elements are integral to the story of Jesse Stone and his companions. I'm glad the drama with Jenn is over, but miss the hint of a life where he and Sunny tried to make a relationship work.
"Fool Me Twice" seems to be an attempt to bring back some of the "Jesse-isms" that made the character who he is in the way that the readers remember and love him. It's a better attempt at "speaking for" Jesse Stone, but there continues to be room for improvement.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2014
Sadly, no one can match Robert Parker's style. However, Mr. Brandman has a style that makes reading this book a pleasure. I began reading and the next thing I knew, I was quick approaching the end. Jesse Stone has the opportunity to show federal agents that sometimes small town cops can be effective in solving crimes.
the book was one that I actually found hard to put down and about as enjoyable as any book that I have ever read.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in mysteries, and while there isn't much to solve, the background story is very typical Jesse Stone.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2012
Posted June 3, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down and finished reading it in one day! Mr. Brandman did an excellent job! One can't help loving the Jesse Stone character and rooting for him as he gives his foes their comeuppance!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2014
Overall plot was great. The bits and piece stories throughout was definitely not long enough. They were too choppy and did not flow because they were not long enough segments. I did enjoy the ongoing chuckle between Jesse and Molly. I did feel there were too many "repeated" phrases throughout by Jesse and whomever he was chatting with. Was supposed to have been funny - but wind up just boring. It was also another way to increase the length of the book.
My nook simple touch indicated once I spent 11.00 on this read was only 191 pages...but if you remove the fact that there were multiple lines spaced between phrases/sentences (to make it longer) there may have been 140-150 pages total. Not near enough for 11.00.
I do not believe Robert B Parker would have tried to sell it for 11.00 or at least have a longer story line to make it worth it.
Sorry Mr Brandman, if you continue this series, please invest a little more time in the story lines not just use "sentence spacing" to increase the pages.
Posted June 21, 2013
Posted May 27, 2013
Ironically, I was initially fooled by this novel, Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice. At first glance, it would appear that the novel is written by author Robert B. Parker. As someone who had never previously read any of Parker's novels or followed the author himself, I had no idea that Parker passed away in 2010. Upon further inspection, I realized that the novel was, in fact, a continuation of his popular Jesse Stone series, written by Michael Brandman. Of course, other characters by late authors, such as Sidney Sheldon and Dick Francis, have continued to appear in new novels, to middling results, so I knew that Fool Me Twice would be hit or miss. Michael Brandman, however, is no stranger to the Jesse Stone Character. In fact, he worked closely with Robert B. Parker as he produced the CBS film versions of the novels. This familiarity and respect seems to allow Brandman to successfully continue the series.
Jesse Stone is the police chief of the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts. As summer approaches, so does the town's excitement for the production of a new Hollywood film to be shot in the city. Of course, with a production of this size comes a variety of challenges. Jesse learns that the star of the film is going through a nasty divorce and her ex-husband has threatened her life. The Mayor tasks Jesse with keeping the production secure and making sure the duration of the filming runs smoothly.
Additionally, Jesse must continue to handle local issues. At the start of the novel, he arrests a teenage girl who's cell phone usage caused a head on collision with another driver. But the accident is not as cut and dry as it seems. It turns out that the young woman is the daughter of a local business man who contributes heavily to the judges and DA of the town. Jesse is forced to battle his own morals against direct orders from his superiors.
Finally, another local case is also drawing Jesse's attention. He receives a call from a local busy-body townswoman who has noticed her water utility rates rise despite no increase in usage or rate hikes. He brushes this off as a woman looking for attention until he receives another call from a concerned citizen. He begins to casually investigate this increase, not expecting to find much. What he discovers, however, is a scandal that could potentially rock the small town of Paradise.
As with the T.V. movies that I've seen featuring Jesse Stone, Fool Me Twice is a light, entertaining read. The story itself is fairly predictable, but it is the quick wit and genuine good will of Jesse Stone that elevates this novel and keeps the plot moving. Having never read any of the previous novels by Parker, I can't attest to the continuation of the character by Michael Brandman. I can however say that this was a quick read that kept me entertained for a couple of hours. The characters, including Stone, are never allowed to reveal emotions beyond the typically expected surface, but they do play nicely into this light mystery novel.
Posted April 23, 2013
OK, but the cat totally distracted from the enjoyment of previous Stone reads. I always looked forward to Jesse walking into his home, looking at his dog and saying "What are you looking at?". And, the dogs forelorn gaze as if to say back to him, "You already know the answer to the question, so why ask?". Upon which Jesse would readily make his drink.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2013
I enjoyed the book and feel that the writer has picked up the essence of the Jessie Stone chacter but I think it would behoove Mr. Brandman to learn something about firearms before writing about them. His laughable mistakes in the book leave one wondering what else he is making up as he goes along. He should invest a little time with a qualified instructor who could help him to understand how they work and the proper way to describe the weapon in question! It would help give his books the ring of authenticity which is a really good thing!
Posted February 14, 2013
In the second Jesse Stone novel not written by the series creator, the same characteristics of the originals are on view: a major plot line with a couple of minor subplots, Jesse’s quips and sardonic humor, short sentences and the like. Not that it should be compared to Robert B. Parker’s efforts. As with the first novel by the author to continue the series at the publisher’s request, “Fool Me Twice” should be judged on its own merits and, suffice it to say, it does keep the reader turning pages.
To begin with, Paradise, MA, where, of course, Jesse is Chief of Police, is selected as the site for the filming of a motion picture, creating all the complication that an influx of Hollywood personnel and equipment demands. However, the two minor themes present us with a new insight into Jesse’s character. One is ecology, and the world’s problems with water shortages; the other is his attitude toward juvenile behavior, taking it upon himself to educate and allow a teenage girl to learn more about herself and her apparent poor attitudes toward society.
One can question whether the Grand Master would have raised the questions brought forward by the subplots, much less the conclusion of the novel, which ties all the loose ends together. However, that should be of no concern in judging a novel on its own worth. Is it a good read? Is it well-written? Plotted well? And this book is substantially all of that, and is recommended.
Posted January 11, 2013
Very disappointing. The situations and characters are not believable. The kid t-bones a car, the other driver is seriously injured and she acts like it's no big deal. Sorry, not believable.
Then, the other driver decides not to press charges? Give me a break, it's up to the DA whether to charge or not, it isn't up the other driver.
The water department scenario is laughable. Somehow, they are able to raise water rates without anyone noticing. Then, somehow, this extra money generates hundreds of thousands of dollars (The math doesn't work). Then somehow, a meter reader is able to control and distribute this extra money and buy himself a million(?) dollar home with no one noticing.
Poorly written, badly plotted but at least it's short.
Posted January 1, 2013
Posted December 13, 2012
Posted November 18, 2012
I was hoping Mr. Brandman would read the reviews of his last attempt at Jesse Stone and fix his deficiencies but I guess he felt his way was the right one.
Jesse Stone lost his dog and his angst without any explanation under the authorship of Michael Brandman.
It's too bad. Now Stone is just another taciturn policeman and has lost his appeal to me.
Posted November 12, 2012