Sea Change (Jesse Stone Series #5)
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Sea Change (Jesse Stone Series #5)

3.3 55
by Robert B. Parker

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Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone faces the case of his career in the newest novel in the bestselling series.

When a woman's partially decomposed body washes ashore in Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is forced into a case far more difficult than it initially appears. Identifying the woman is just the first step in what proves to

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Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone faces the case of his career in the newest novel in the bestselling series.

When a woman's partially decomposed body washes ashore in Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is forced into a case far more difficult than it initially appears. Identifying the woman is just the first step in what proves to be an emotionally charged investigation. Florence Horvath was an attractive, recently divorced heiress from Florida; she also had a penchant for steamy sex and was an enthusiastic participant in a video depicting the same. Somehow the combination of her past and present got her killed, but no one is talking-not the crew of the Lady Jane, the Fort Lauderdale yacht moored in Paradise Harbor; not her very blond, very tan twin sisters, Corliss and Claudia; and not her curiously affectless parents, living out a sterile retirement in a Miami high rise. But someone-Jesse-has to speak for the dead, even if it puts him in harm's way.

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Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Fans of Robert B. Parker should buckle themselves into their favorite recliner and prepare for the aptly dubbed Dean of American Crime Fiction's wildest Jesse Stone novel yet, a pedal-to-the-metal mystery in which the intrepid Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief must solve a murder involving enough drunken debauchery and kinky sex to sink a ship -- or at least a corpse.

When the partially decomposed body (a "floater," in cop talk) of a woman washes up on the shores of Paradise during the raucous Race Week -- an almost monthlong celebration where thousands of tourists "drink and eat and fornicate" -- police chief Stone is faced with a laundry list of hedonistic suspects. The woman turns out to be Florence Horvath, a blonde divorcée from Fort Lauderdale with a penchant for rich yacht owners and no-holds-barred sexual aerobics. At first, Stone's primary "person of interest" is Harrison Darnell, a sleazy yacht owner from Florida who happens to be in Paradise for Race Week; but as he finds out more about the dead woman's background -- especially insights garnered from her younger twin sisters, Corliss and Claudia, giggling sybarites with the combined intelligence of "a mud puddle" -- Stone begins to piece together an incredible and extremely disturbing scenario…

This fifth installment of Parker's Jesse Stone saga (Night Passage, Trouble in Paradise, et al.) is one of his most breakneck novels to date; the nitromethane-fueled pacing of Sea Change will leave readers breathless -- as will the book's unanticipated ending. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Former LAPD cop and recovering alcoholic Jesse Stone is now the police chief of Paradise, Mass., a small suburb of Boston. It's quiet most of the time, except for the annual Race Week yachting event, and when murdered bodies wash up on shore. Stone's latest high-profile investigation-of the death of aging party girl Florence Horvath-takes him into a seedy underworld of sex, drugs and pornography that will leave listeners both titillated and disturbed. Sowers narrates in a strong, pleasant tenor and adeptly gives voice to Parker's witty, noir dialogue. Parker's stylistic quirk of using a "said" tag after almost every piece of dialogue stands out much more on audio than in print. Because Sowers alters his voice to distinguish between characters, a minor abridgment to remove some of these tags would have been less disruptive to the narrative flow. Sowers's performance overall is excellent and should leave listeners eager for another visit to Paradise. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 21, 2005). (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
America's mystery maestro has created a cast of villains and victims from the flotsam of humanity. Jesse Stone, police chief of a small seaside Massachusetts town, suddenly finds himself grappling with an unsavory case when a woman's body washes up on shore. The "floater" was in her mid-30s, the ne'er-do-well daughter of rich parents. Stone finds himself dealing with creepy characters obsessed with manic sex, drugs and alcohol. Stone, a refugee from the Los Angeles Police Department and a recovering alcoholic, has his own demons to face. He's also trying to reconcile with his former wife, who is not without her own shortcomings. (10 Apr 2006)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
The body of an unidentified woman is found in a cove off the Massachusetts village of Paradise, where Jesse Stone, former L.A. homicide detective, is now chief of police. With no clues and a bevy of nonlocals in town for the annual sailboat competition, Stone must use every resource at his disposal to find out who the woman was, what happened to her, and why no one has reported her missing. Stone and his ex-wife, New York City weatherperson Jenn, are trying at a reconciliation, so in typical Parker (School Days) fashion, the story unfolds in a composite of scenes from Stone's personal and professional lives. The chapters are short, staccato sound bites of action that move the Paradise police closer to a solution. Parker is a master at creating memorable characters and crime stories that are inevitably tied to social issues of some importance. In his fifth Jesse Stone novel, he captures the decadent life of wealthy individuals while contrasting their immorality and indigence with the dogged pursuit of the guilty by dedicated police officers. For all crime fiction collections of every size. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/05.]-Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A ravaged corpse that bobs to the surface of Paradise Harbor during Race Week leads Jesse Stone to a surprisingly intricate case of sex and murder. Ft. Lauderdale wasn't big enough to hold Florence Horvath, who had to come to Massachusetts to drown. Before she did, she mailed off a videotape in which she smilingly enjoyed the sexual favors of two men at once. A good, close look at the tape persuades Jesse that it was made aboard Harrison Darnell's yacht Lady Jane, out of Miami. Since Darnell is a wealthy, powerful visitor and Jesse's only an alcoholic police chief in love with his own ex, the deck seems to be stacked against the forces of good-until a fortuitous accusation of rape gives Jesse the excuse he needs to search Lady Jane and confiscate enough videos to put Darnell, along with his yachting buddy Thomas Ralston, away on a savory assortment of sex charges. But Jesse doesn't want the two bimbo collectors getting arrested and lawyering up; he wants to nail one or both of them for Florence's murder. Teaming up across the miles with Ft. Lauderdale police detective Kelly Cruz, he puts together a case whose sordid implications make those videos look tame. Though every single character has, at most, two speeds-furtive self-concealment and blustering wisecracks-Jesse's fifth case (after Stone Cold, 2003) is strong enough to rank near his best.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jesse Stone Series, #5
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.53(h) x 0.81(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

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