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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