Split Image (Jesse Stone Series #9)

Split Image (Jesse Stone Series #9)

3.5 207
by Robert B. Parker

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The body in the trunk was just the beginning …

Turns out the stiff was a foot soldier for local tough guy Reggie Galen‚ now enjoying a comfortable "retirement" with his beautiful wife‚ Rebecca‚ in the nicest part of Paradise. Living next door are Knocko Moynihan and his wife‚ Robbie‚ who also happens to be Rebecca's twin. But

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The body in the trunk was just the beginning …

Turns out the stiff was a foot soldier for local tough guy Reggie Galen‚ now enjoying a comfortable "retirement" with his beautiful wife‚ Rebecca‚ in the nicest part of Paradise. Living next door are Knocko Moynihan and his wife‚ Robbie‚ who also happens to be Rebecca's twin. But what initially appears to be a low-level mob hit takes on new meaning when a high-ranking crime figure is found dead on Paradise Beach.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
When they aren't working their separate cases (the cops have to contend with two mob murders), Jesse and Sunny flirt like mad, sharing morsels of Parker's droll dialogue like lovers feeding each other chocolate truffles. Love runs rampant in this story—young love, parental love, marital love, friendly love, lovey-dovey love, even noxious perversions of love that are downright criminal. Hotbed of passion that it's turned out to be, Paradise seems a very good place to take our leave of Jesse.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Parker's enjoyable ninth novel featuring Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone (after Night and Day), focuses on Stone's deepening connection with PI Sunny Randall, the star of her own series (Spare Change, etc.). Both Jesse and Sunny are still recovering from failed relationships, and Parker does a nice job of integrating their separate therapy sessions (in Sunny's case, with Susan Silverman, the significant other of Parker's best-known detective, Spenser) with two criminal investigations. The parents of 18-year-old Cheryl DeMarco ask Sunny for help in getting Cheryl out of a religious cult, while Stone probes the gunshot murder of Petrov Ognowski, a mob soldier whose boss, Reggie Galen, is the next-door neighbor of another gangster. Neither case is particularly compelling on its own, but they effectively serve as plot devices for the main characters to understand more about themselves and each other. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
While his ladylove, Boston shamus Sunny Randall, wrestles with the problem of a young woman who's left her parents to join a cult, Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone (Night and Day, 2009, etc.) investigates a pair of mob hits that are much more than mob hits. The execution-style shooting of Petrov Ognowski, a soldier in the pay of allegedly retired North Shore mob boss Reggie Galen, would be a routine murder if it weren't for two complications that swiftly follow. One is the execution-style shooting of Knocko Moynihan, the allegedly retired South Shore boss and Reggie's longtime friend and current neighbor. The other is the possible involvement of the two old friends' wives, identical twins Rebecca Galen and Roberta Moynihan, nee Bangston. Jesse can't figure out why such lovely ladies would prove such attentive helpmeets to a pair of thugs. He gets further data when the sisters, known in high school as the Bang Bang Twins for reasons that only began with their birth name, put the moves on him. In between times, Sunny Randall, who's come to Paradise to urge 18-year-old Cheryl DeMarco to leave the Bond of the Renewal at the behest of parents who seem even scarier than the Patriarch of the Bond, holds Jesse's hand, and selected other parts, en route to a series of developments as satisfying as they are unsurprising. Once again Parker leans on his distinctive voice to rescue an ambling plot, unfolding expertly but aimlessly, that seems borrowed from a middling episode of Homicide: Life on the Street.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jesse Stone Series, #9
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

MOLLY CRANE STUCK her head into the open doorway of Jesse’s office and said, “Chief Stone, there’s a private detective from Boston here to see you.”

“Show him in,” Jesse said.

“It’s a her,” Molly said.

“Even better,” Jesse said.

Molly smiled and stepped aside, and Sunny Randall came in, carrying a straw shoulder bag and wearing a green sleeveless top with white pants and color- coordinated sneakers.

“Wow,” Jesse said.

“Wow is good,” Sunny said, and sat down.

“And accurate,” Jesse said. “It couldn’t have been easy getting into those pants.”

“For whom?” Sunny said.

Jesse smiled.

“Shall I close the door?” he said.

“No,” Sunny said. “I’m actually here on business.”

“All work and no play,” Jesse said.

“We’ll address that at another time,” Sunny said.

“That’s encouraging,” Jesse said.

“It’s meant to be,” Sunny said. “Do you know of a small religious organization here in Paradise called the Renewal? Or the Bond of the Renewal?”

“I’m the chief of police,” Jesse said. “I know everything.”

“Exactly why I’m here,” Sunny said.

She smiled.

“Tell me about the Renewal,” she said.

“They’re located in a house near the town wharf. Nice house; one of the elders owns it. They all live there in a kind of communal way, run by a guy who calls himself the Patriarch. About forty, with gray hair, which Molly Crane claims is artificial.”

“He dyes it gray?” Sunny said.

“What Molly claims,” Jesse said. “There’s a couple of so- called elders, ’bout your age, I would guess.”

“Hey,” Sunny said.

“I mean they’re not very elder-ish.”

“Okay,” Sunny said.

“Rest of them are mostly kids,” Jesse said. “All of whom, far as I can tell, are old enough to do what they want.”

“What do they do?”

“They preach, they hand out flyers, they go door- to- door,

raising money.”

“They got some kind of special belief?”

“They’re in favor of renewal,” Jesse said.

“What the hell does that mean?”

Jesse grinned.

“Renewing the original intent of Christianity,” Jesse said. “At least as they understand it. Love, peace, that kind of thing.”

“Wow,” Sunny said. “Subversive.”

“You bet,” Jesse said. “Town hates them, want me to chase them out of town.”

“Which you haven’t done.”

“They haven’t committed a crime,” Jesse said.

“So, what’s the complaint?”

“They’re not one of us,” Jesse said. “And they’re kind of ratty- looking.”

“They preach on the streets?” Sunny said.


“That can be annoying,” Sunny said.

“It is,” Jesse said. “It’s annoying as hell, but it’s not illegal.”

“And you’re hung up on the Constitution?” Sunny said.

“Old school,” Jesse said.

“And the town council understands?”

“I don’t believe so,” Jesse said.

“And you care what the town council understands,” Sunny said.

“Not very much,” Jesse said.

They were quiet for a moment. The silence was comfortable.

“You want to know why I’m asking?” Sunny said, after a time.


“But not enough to ask,” Sunny said.

“I knew you’d tell me.”

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Split Image (Jesse Stone Series #9) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 206 reviews.
herbarmstrong More than 1 year ago
Jesse Stone is back! This time he's dealing with two mob-connected corpses, two over-sexed mob wives, two self-absorbed parents whose daughter has taken up with a cult, and a Polish father out to avenge his son's death. Sunny Randall comes to town to help him along and, in the meantime, they help each other start to put their exes behind them. The dialog is typical Parker - the kind of quick returns that we all wish we could think of when we need them. Jesse is still dealing with his internal struggle to drink or not to drink, and he turns to conversations with the photo of his hero Ozzie Smith to try to sort it all out. The plot is a bit convoluted, the characters are complex, and the small-town police in Paradise are still able to rise to the occasion of big-city crime - all the elements that make the Jesse Stone series so much fun to read. As they work together to keep lids on their lives and the town, Jesse and Sonny grow closer and at the end of this installment they seem headed to greater things; maybe even a relationship like Spencer and Dr. Silverman (who makes an appearance here, too) have. But alas, we'll never know. Sadly, this is probably the final chapter in Jesse Stone's story, since Parker passed away January 18th. His pithy, delightful style will be greatly missed, and Jesse and Sunny will remain in limbo. But Parkers' fans will re-read the Spenser, Stone, Randall, and western series for years to come. Thanks, Parker!
jfk1942 More than 1 year ago
As usual Parker wrote an entertaining book. His characters are flawed enough that they are believable and you want to come back time and time again. If you like Spenser you will like Stone. Sadly with Parker passing we will be miss all the friends he gave us. But like other great writers his books will be around forever. And we will never forget him. I hope he has a few books in the ;pipeline.
mailgal More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy these books of Jesse Stone. I also watch all the movies. If you like to get to know the people in the books, contuine reading them all.
Eddieboy More than 1 year ago
Great Reading and I highly recommend.
Avid4books More than 1 year ago
Sadly there won't be anymore Jesse Stone novels due to the passing of Robert B. Parker, but he left us a good one. Jesse's life path isn't completely resolved, but he's come a long way since book one, and is headed in a good direction. The body of a mob tough guy is found stuffed in the trunk of his car. Jesse investigates the man's relationship to two local "ex" mob figures who live next door to each other, and are married to identical twins. The "split image" of the title refers to the woman, and they play an important part in this story. Meanwhile, another Parker character with her own series, Sunny Randall, is in town looking for a runaway girl at a commune. She and Jesse work together briefly, and then get together. Working with their respective therapists, they discover they each have traits similar to those of their victims. An interesting twist. As always, Parker's characters are strongly written as people one can identify with. This is very good story, the psychological profiles are excellent, and Jesse resolves his issues with his ex-wife and seems able to move on.
KristallinHeart More than 1 year ago
Really like this character. The writing style keeps me engaged and I can't put the books down.
Lucie More than 1 year ago
Competes with James Patterson for easy reading, a great story and likable characters.
NICUTracy More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of his books. This has two of his best detectives.
roseyTX More than 1 year ago
Typical quik wit and moving plot. Jesse Stone is one of his better, indepth characters. Twists with humor. Too bad there won't be anymore from him.
SamSanAntonio More than 1 year ago
Parker delivered his usual good story line. His prose is lean and direct and yet paints an effective picture. Jesse Stone is a flawed but effective chief of police in the small town of Paradise - a model of independence and character. In this story he helps a young woman make a clean break with her parents. This story further blends Stone's character with that of Sonny Randall, a female detective from another Parker series. In the continuing story of his life Stone is getting past his connection with his former wife, and may be developing a real relationship with another woman. Parkers death is a real loss, and I hope that there were one or two more stories at his publisher's.
SpiritMAO More than 1 year ago
Parker is always a fast and good read. The dialogue is the backbone of his books and is never more so than in this one.
jcrubicon More than 1 year ago
Still a little sad at the death of Robert B. Parker, so, as a form of tribute to him, I thought I would try a little experiment with his new (and final) Jesse Stone novel -- "Split Image." Building off the comment I made in my review of his recent Spenser outing, "The Professional," and as a play with the "Split Image" title, I thought I would read "Split Image" and his 2008, "Stranger in Paradise" simultaneously. I wanted to test the precision of the plotting and the consistency of character. First, I read a couple of chapters of "Stranger..." and then went to "Split..." for several chapters and back and forth through the two books. Amazing. They were a split image. Not only did they share Parker's Hemingwayesque sparseness but they were seamless in character, locale and plot. Parker turned formulaic into familiar and the familiar into comforting. He is a real joy to read -- even two at a time -- and will be missed. I think there is one last Spenser in the pipeline -- "Painted Ladies" due in October 2010. So, all is not lost, yet.
CathyNC More than 1 year ago
All three of us enjoy listening to Jesse Stone on audio: but we enjoy most of Parker's work. Jesse is a police chief we would be glad to have in our town: he is human, dedicated to doing his job well, and we cheer his efforts to that end. We will miss Robert Parker and all of the characters he has created because we have purchased most of his adult series books over the years, and sampled one or two of his children's books.
Betsybov More than 1 year ago
If you like the Jesse Stone series, you will like this book. Now that most of the series has been made into movies I always picture the book characters as they appeared in the films. It's a one day read that leaves you feeling good.
JamBLang More than 1 year ago
I luv Jesse Stone mysteries because I can see Tom Selleck everytime I come to a part w/ Jesse & I luv how Tom plays Jesse. Haven't read any other of Parker's writing but I do--everytime he puts out a Jesse Stone novel...JBL
FranTX More than 1 year ago
As always the Jesse Stone books are so good and I'm glad that he finally got together with Sunny Randall . . . for always?? Who knows, because the author, Robert Parker, has passed away. This one was "Touching" because I knew that it would be the last. I have all of the Jesse Stone books and some of Sunny Randall. I will read them again and again.
dazam1 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as I do all Robert Parker books. His death was a loss to the publishing world.
neclem1935 More than 1 year ago
I liked the characters better than the book. Overall, the book was okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saddens me to know this is the end. Have read every Robert Parker book. A great writer taken from us too quickly. He will be missed
GorMac More than 1 year ago
How appropriate it is that Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone experiences, perhaps, his long awaited psychological and emotional break through in SPLIT IMAGE, the last novel penned before Mr. Parker's unexpected death. If we are to be denied any more novels about Jesse, Jen, Molly, Suit and the ever revolving cast of marvelous characters who populate and wander in and out of coastal town of Paradise, MA at least their creator, Robert B. Parker, has left them under the caring and watchful eye of an apparently improved Chief of Police Jesse Stone. In SPLIT IMAGE Parker does more than hint at Chief Stone 's finally accepting his part in the dysfunctional co-dependent relationship between he and his ex-wife, Jen. Parkers seems to provide Jesse without not only a way out of his downward alcoholic spiral, but fortifies him with a chance at romance and commitment in the person of Boston PI Sunny Randall, past lover, and a woman who has exemplifies the fact that in our pain "we are not alone." In Alcoholics Anonymous it is predicted that "more shall be revealed." In Paradise the same holds true, except, alas, it appears we will not be there as witnesses. Good night, Robert B. Parker. Thank you.
rubyrugby More than 1 year ago
Quick wit.Fast moving plot.Brilliant word smitthing
MommaInc More than 1 year ago
After reading all the reviews, I was surprised no one mentioned that Robert Parker passed away recently. The weakness of this book may have had something to do with the fact that it may have been completed by another author. I have always loved a Robert Parker novel. He makes me laugh out loud...he's cynical, humorous and self-deprecating. I will miss Spencer and Susan and Hawk. I have enjoyed Jesse and Sunny but their characters were never as real to me as Spencer's crew. Bad reviews and all, I'll probably still purchase this novel just to read the final chapter in a Robert Parker novel.
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