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Now that summer's here, the advent of the tourist season brings the same old crime-based problems to idyllic Paradise, Mass., but now at the hands of a different author.
Has anything changed since the death last year of series creator Robert B. Parker? Not really. Police chief Jesse Stone still misses his girlfriend Sunny Randall (Split Image, 2010, etc.), off in Europe on a job. Dispatcher/receptionist Molly Crane still gives him a hard time over his requests for coffee and monosyllabic responses to her questions. When somebody starts stealing cars from the streets of Paradise, Jesse's take-charge reaction is still the same. He shows the same omni-sensitive side when 14-year-old Lisa Barry holds her school principal hostage at gunpoint to protest her bullying by the Lincoln Village girls, and the same reliable intuition when he hears that Rollo Nurse, whose skull he fractured while arresting him in L.A. years ago, is out of prison and may be looking for him. He's still catnip to women like Alexis Richardson, who got the job of organizing and publicizing summer events through her uncle, selectman Carter Hansen. He still wrestles with the bottle, shares confidences with his therapist and cleans up his town with his usual laconic aplomb. The only differences are his new rental place right on the bay; Mildred Memory, a cat who finds him equally irresistible; and the unconvincing voices that bid the worst of the bad guys to do the bad things he does.
Film and TV producer Brandman, who collaborated on several of Jesse's TV adaptations, obviously believes that no news is good news. Series fans will probably agree.
Posted September 13, 2011
I certainly did not expect Brandman's novel to come close to capturing Parker's style or witty dialogue, but I did expect--perhaps naively--more than a disguised screenplay for a made-for-tv movie. Why the Parker family allowed a screenwriter rather than a seasoned novelist to take over this series defies logic, particularly since Parked himself did such a brilliant job of taking over Chandler's "Poodle Springs". Likely due to his background as a screenwriter, Brandman clearly eschews developing characters through dialogue--a skill of which Parker was an indisbutable master and relies on a more visual presentation of a weak story. About the only thing that Brandman's Stone has in common with Parker's Stone is the name. A preposterous plot (in which Jesse has no problem inexplicably resorting to felony kidnapping and setting up a bad guy to be murdered by another bad guy, but yet feels the need to enforce a noise ordinance at the expense of the town's economy and his new squeeze's interests}. Here, Stone is reduced to a sniveling PETA type--a stray cat gives meaning to his life (no kidding). If you expect anything remotely like a Parker novel avoid this book. I wasted the better part of my day slogging through this painfully poor imitation. If you a looking for another installment in Brandman's post-Parker made-for-tv Jesse Stone movies, wait for the film. It can't be as bad as the book. Let's just hope that Ace Atkins fares better with the Spenser series.
9 out of 11 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 17, 2011
You would think that if someone was going to assume a charcter from a deceased auther he would have read the previous 9 books or at least watched some of he TV movies.
He starts with Jesse still living in a condo - wrong.
His Jesse is using words that Parker's Spenser might use but not Jesse.
He better adapt soon or it may one book and out.
6 out of 6 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 July 9, 2011
Paradise, Massachusetts is gearing up for the summer tourist season with the Board of Selectmen hiring events planner Alexis Richardson to put the town on the map as a happening place. Chief of Police Jesse Stone is attracted to her and they have an affair though neither wants to get to serious. He has no time to move their relationship to the next level as he has two different criminals converging on the town.
A crime wave begins with two Hondas stolen. The higher-ups think that someone is setting up a chop shop. When a third car is stolen, the owner fights thief, but is killed enabling the felon to escape. Jesse finds and holds the thief incommunicado under he tells him who is boss is. On a personal note, Rollo Nurse is released from a California penitentiary and is coming east to kill Jesse who used excessive force that caused permanent damage to the career criminal. Rollo starts killing dogs before he turns to arson and ends up finally killing a cop. Jesse has other issues and crimes to deal with including an indifferent principal, a sexual predator teacher and a student who held the principal hostage. Jesse works all these problems while expecting a not too social visit from Rollo.
Michael Brandman successfully takes over the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone police procedurals with a strong entry that captures the essence of the small town sheriff. The story line is filled with action as the caseload is overwhelming but Jesse keeps working all of them while he and fans await the confrontation. The author captures the magic of Mr. Parker's writing style ensuring readers will want to read this special police procedural series until it ends.
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 23, 2011
Too many inconsistancies-Jess living in a condo and just moving into this island house, no dog but a stray cat, less angst and more self control. The dialogue is off and it's clear that Brandman never read (or ignored) Jesse Stone's story line up to now.
5 out of 5 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 10, 2011
The biggest problem with this book is it was written by a screenwriter, NOT Robert B. Parker, and that's how it reads. Like a screenplay. Almost no narrative or descriptions. Almost entirely dialogue. I feel like I was taken advantage of and wasted my money on this book. Shame on the publishers for trying to make a buck off of Parker's name.
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 September 14, 2011
This is an ok read but this is a real poor attempt at the Stone character. Where Parker made his characters feel like flesh & blood this author makes them mearly cardboard cutouts. Dialogue is bad to say the least. Easy to read as there is no substannce. I hope they do a better job with Spenser and I would hope they would find someone else to do the next Stone, If there is a next one.
2 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 21, 2011
I was pleasantly surprised how well this book turned out. I wasn't sure how Michael Brandman was going to do taking over the writing of Robert Parker so I decided not to spend any $$ on it and just took it out in my hometown library. It was fast reading, good story lines and also made me laugh. I will be looking forward to more Jesse Stone Novels!
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 September 19, 2011
I've read everything Parker has ever written and for the first 30 or so pages I was painfully aware that this wasn't Parker. However, it was an easy groove to get into. This Jesse isn't the Jesse from either the books or curiously the movies. He seems less troubled, more sure of himself, less of a victim. In short he seems a little like Spenser, which is something I do not mind.
Clearly not Parker, but equally clearly a very good read with a similar easy to consume style. I will absolutely read anything else he does. I enjoyed when Parker wrote Chandler and I will similarly enjoy when Brandman does Parker.
1 out of 2 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 17, 2011
Posted October 4, 2013
Watch out for dead authors writing new books.
The Pengun Group should be ashamed of themselves.
And the Jesse Stone series should simply end.
Posted July 17, 2013
Not the same as RBP's character, more like Tom Selleck. And Jesse seemed a bit more comfortable with himself in this novel - maybe Dix is actually doing some good?
As others have said, this was a bit too short, not enough time developing the plots or the new characters. But, it does seem to set up nicely for sequels. That's good, as I still saw enough of the Stone-of-old that I want to see what's next.
Posted April 3, 2013
Great jesse stone book! Highly upset that it cost so much for a short story. Definitely high on humor! Really good storylines; but not worth the 9.99+tax. Hugely disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2012
I watched all of the Jesse Stone TV movies before I started reading the books. Then I read all of the books in order and was devastated when I learned that Robert B. Parker had passed away. Not to worry, Michael Brandman has captured the Jesse Stone character just as Robert B. Parker wrote him. You do not know that you are not reading the original author. This story takes up where the last one left off, and I cannot say enough good things about it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2012
Several items were "out of place" with Brandmans story line.. watch for Stones residence/location change as well as the Captain has moved from the City to Paradise without explanation. Also Stones adopted dog is gone, replaced by a cat. The dialogue also has slightly changed which is a bit distracting. But... I for one am glad that Jesse is still around and am more than willing to overlook some changes just to continue his read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2012
Posted October 5, 2012
Excellent follow-up on the style of Parker, following his death, by Brandman. Same short paragraphs, short chapters, and snappy dialogue. Glad to see Brandman seems to be doing away with calls from Jenn which were getting a bit boring.
Best read by Robert Parker-Jesse Stone fans that have read many of his other Stone novels. If not start with the earlier Parker novels.
Brandman seems more aware of the TV version with plots influenced by Selleck than Parker was and is beginning to track with it.
Posted October 2, 2012
It is quite a challenge to be asked to pick up where a master like Robert B. Parker left off. But that is exactly the dare the author faced when the publisher asked him to continue writing the popular Jesse Stone series. Mr. Brandman was no stranger to Parker: they were friends for many years and collaborated on several Spenser and Stone movies on television. Still it was a formidable task.
So let us begin by noting that we will not compare this work with any of Parker’s oeuvre, simply because it would not be fair to either. Instead, let us judge the work on its own merits. To begin with, it is constructed like a Jesse Stone novel, with many of the elements that have made them so popular, with good plotting and short dialogue and witty Stone comments.
It involves three separate story lines, both of which affect Jesse as a Chief of Police and as an individual. They take place just as the summer tourist season is about to begin in Paradise, MA. One involves carjackings, another something out of Jesse’s past, and the last a serious situation involving a young girl holding a school principal at gunpoint. Each requires Jesse to solve it in his own inimitable fashion.
With that, the conclusion is that an assessment lets us accept the book, as it is presented, favorably. It is possibly unfortunate that the publisher chose the title to ride the coattails of the late, esteemed Grand Master, somewhat like the producers of the current “Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” renamed an opera that has stood the test of time for eight or more decades. A book should stand on its own, and this one does. Enough with comparisons already: Just read it and you’ll recommend it, as I do.
Posted August 16, 2012
...to evaluate Killing the Blues. The problem is that on it's own, it's not too bad. Plenty of action and a well told story. Here's the catch...this is obviously not RBP and Brandman really doesn't have a feel for who Jesse Stone is. There are errors of settings and history which have been outlined by other reviewers, but the real issue is that the only thing that Brandman's Stone has in common with RBP's is the name. The character we've come to know from RBP is dark and brooding; a tortured soul. We know he's capable of violence, but he works hard to surpress it. This one is flippant and fairly self aware. The scenes with the shrink act more as a confirmation than keeping the demons at bay. Brandman's Stone is actually quick to violence and threatens to kill almist anyone who crosses his path. He is also selective on what laws he chooses to enforce and which ones he'll completely ignore. In truth, he reminded me more of Spenser than Stone. I can't say for sure that I'll get another Jesse Stone novel. Too bad! I enjoyed them!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 15, 2012
I was so happy to find that Brandman has continued the Jesse Stone series. He reproduces Parker's style so well. We surely miss Robert B. Parker, but it is great to know that the characters he created in this series live on. I am looking forward to the next in the series, and have pre-ordered for the release later this year. If you love the Jesse Stone series, this book will not disappoint you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.