Stone Cold (Jesse Stone Series #4)

( 38 )

Overview

Tony and Brianna Lincoln just moved into Paradise, but friendly they aren't. In fact, these urbane thrill killers are knocking off the neighbors one by one, and Jesse Stone is next.

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Stone Cold (Jesse Stone Series #4)

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Overview

Tony and Brianna Lincoln just moved into Paradise, but friendly they aren't. In fact, these urbane thrill killers are knocking off the neighbors one by one, and Jesse Stone is next.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Somber yet always inviting, the fourth novel in Parker's Jesse Stone series -- featuring a former LAPD cop drummed out for drinking who now serves as police chief in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts -- is filled with all the wit, action, and insight we've come to expect from this proficient author.

This time out, Jesse not only continues his battle with the bottle but must also solve a case concerning a husband-and-wife team of serial killers stalking random victims for the simple thrill of it. Even off-duty, Jesse has plenty of problems, as he attempts to sort out his love life (he's got at least four revolving lovers) and to make peace with his consuming feelings for his rather insensitive ex-wife.

The smooth prose in Stone Cold is engaging and assured, emphasizing sentiment as much as hip, tough-guy violence. Parker is in excellent form here, providing keen understanding into the best and worst of the human condition, as characters struggle with their own obsessions. As in his beloved Spenser novels, Parker uses clever repartee to underscore moral conflict and the quest for righteousness. Stone Cold demonstrates again that the bestselling author's greatest narrative skill is his ability to fully realize the nature of regret, infatuation, and love in a perilous world. Tom Piccirilli

The Washington Post
Parker adroitly manages to keep the suspense quotient high in this tale, even though readers will be pretty secure in the knowledge that Jesse (who is after all the hero of this series) is never in any real danger. While he's playing cat and mouse with the Lincolns, he also manages to exact frontier justice from a trio of high school hoodlums who've raped a teenaged girl. To boot, Jesse even makes progress here in his relationship with his ex-wife, Jenn. The body count in Stone Cold is higher than in most of Parker's other mysteries, but then so are the therapeutic breakthroughs. — Maureen Corrigan
The New York Times
If Spenser is the invincible knight, the timeless hero of American detective fiction, then Jesse Stone...is the flawed hero of the moment, a man whose deficiencies define his humanity.—Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
It's taken four novels, but finally Parker's Jesse Stone series has produced a book as good as top-drawer Spenser. This outing finds the laconic, troubled cop tackling three problems: to capture the pair of serial killers who are murdering random victims in small-town Paradise, Mass., where Stone is chief of police; to bring to justice the three high-school students who gang-raped a younger schoolmate; and to come to terms with his love of both alcohol and his ex-wife, Jenn. The serial killers, revealed early to the reader and soon enough to Stone, are a married yuppie pair who taunt Stone, whom they take as a dumb hick cop, as he collects evidence to bring them down; his pursuit of them leads them to kill someone close to him, then to target Stone himself, and eventually to an emotionally cathartic climax in Toronto, where the killers have fled. That story line serves as a fine little police procedural, but Parker is at his max here when following the rape plot, especially in scenes in which Stone, in his cool, compassionate way, tries to help the besieged victim as best he can. Meanwhile, under intense media attention and pressure from town elders for the ongoing serial killings, Stone works his way toward an understanding of the roles that booze and Jenn play in his life. Told in third-person prose that's a model of economy, with sharp action sequences, deep yet unobtrusive character exploration and none of the cuteness that can mar the Spenser novels, this is prime Parker, testament to why he was named a Grand Master at the 2002 Edgar Awards. (On sale Sept. 29) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This is the fourth book in Parker's "Jesse Stone" series, and it is the best. As the police chief in the small town of Paradise, a fictional suburb of Boston, Jesse has been developing throughout the series, and his personality is by now well defined. Here we find Jesse battling a pair of serial killers whose victims are always random, although the modus operandi is always the same. At the start, we are left in the dark about the killers, but, in an interesting twist, halfway through the book their identities are revealed, and the story becomes a game of cat and mouse. Almost another full plot line concerns Jesse's problems with his ex-wife (whom he still loves) and complications with his girlfriends. These deepen his melancholic state, as well as his battle to stay alcohol-free. Like Spenser, Parker's most famous creation, Jesse is known for his clever repartee, but his personality is darker and more troubled. Highly recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/03.]-Fred M. Gervat, Concordia Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After waiting in Spenser's long shadow for three cases, alcoholic small-town police chief Jesse Stone (Death in Paradise, 2001, etc.) comes into his own big-time when he goes up against a husband-and-wife pair of serial killers. The genteel culprits, who use murder as foreplay, are neither mystifying nor entirely credible. What's compelling is Jesse's patience and pain as he works from one corpse to the next in little Paradise, Mass. What can he learn from the fact that each victim's been shot twice by two different .22's or from descriptions of a red Saab that was spotted at two crime scenes? And once he's satisfied himself as to the smiling perps' identities, what can he do to bring them down? These would be tough questions even if Jesse weren't already laboring under the weight of another case in which answers come faster than justice-the rape of Candace Pennington by three of her high-school classmates who threaten her with worse if she talks to anybody, and who's saddled with a mother no daughter would talk to anyway-and the eternal wait for Jenn, his newscaster ex, to fall back into his arms in between the embraces he exchanges with a local realtor, a future murder victim, and one of the rapist's attorneys. Jesse preens less than the better-known Spenser and earns his male posturing more completely through his appealing vulnerability. Good-bye, Mr. Second String: A star is born.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425198742
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Jesse Stone Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 106,589
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Biography

Robert B. Parker began as a student of hard-boiled crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but when he became a crime writer himself, he was one of the rare contemporary authors to be considered on par with his predecessors. The Spenser series, featuring a Boston-based ex-boxer and ex-cop, is one of the genre's most respected and popular fixtures.

Noted for their sharp dialogue and fine character development, the Spenser books carry on a tradition while updating it, particularly in giving its hero two strong alter egos in Hawk, a black friend and right-hand man; and Susan Silverman, Spenser's psychologist love interest. Parker's inclusion of other races and sexual persuasions (several of his novels feature gay characters, a sensibility strengthened in Parker through his sons, both of whom are gay) give a more modern feel to the cases coming into Spenser's office.

The Spenser series, which began with 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript, has an element of toughness that suits its Boston milieu; but it delves just as often into the complex relationship between Silverman and Spenser, and the interplay between the P.I. and Hawk.

By the late ‘80s, Parker had acquired such a reputation that the agent for Raymond Chandler's estate tapped him to finish the legend's last book, Poodle Springs. It was a thankless mission bound to earn criticism, but Parker carried off the task well, thanks to his gift for to-the-point writing and deft plotting. "Parker isn't, even here, the writer Chandler was, but he's not a sentimentalist, and he darkens and deepens Marlowe," the Atlantic concluded. In 1991, Parker took a second crack at Chandler with the Big Sleep sequel Perchance to Dream.

Parker took other detours from Spenser over the years. In 1999, Family Honor introduced Sunny Randall, a female Boston private eye Parker created with actress Helen Hunt in mind. Two years earlier, he introduced L.A.-to-New England cop transplant Jesse Stone in Night Passage. He also authored four bestselling Westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a few young adult books, as well as several stand-alone novels that were well-received by his many fans.

Parker died suddenly in January 2010 while at home at his desk, working on a book. The cause was a heart attack. He was seventy-seven.

Good To Know

Parker's thesis in graduate school was a study of the private eye in literature that centered on Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross MacDonald. Critics would later put him in the same category as those authors.

Parker's main hero is named for Edmund Spenser, the 16th-century author of The Faerie Queene.

Parker had a hand in writing the scripts for some television adaptations of Spenser books starring Robert Urich, who also played Spenser in the ABC series from 1985-88. Urich suffered a battle with cancer and passed away in 2002, but adaptations continue to be made for A&E, starring Joe Mantegna. Parker approved of the new actor, telling the New York Times: ''I looked at Joe and I saw Spenser."

According to a profile in the New York Times, Parker met his wife Joan when the two were toddlers at a birthday party. The two reconnected as freshmen at Colby College and eventually had two sons. They credit the survival of their marriage to a house split into separate living spaces, so that the two can enjoy more independent lives than your average husband and wife.

Parker told fans in a 1999 Barnes & Noble.com chat that he thought his non-series historical novel All Our Yesterdays was "the best thing I've ever written."

Parker had a small speaking part in the 1997 A&E adaptation of Small Vices. How does he have time to write his Spenser books, plus the other series and the adaptation stuff? "Keep in mind, it takes me four or five months to write a novel, which leaves me a lot of time the rest of the year," he told Book magazine. "I don't like to hang around."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      January 18, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

After the murder, they made love in front of a video camera. When it was over, her mouth was bruised. He had long scratches across his back. They lay side by side on their backs, gasping for breath.

"Jesus!" he said, his voice hoarse.

"Yes," she whispered.

She moved into the compass of his left arm and rested her head against his chest. They lay silently for a while, not moving, waiting for oxygen.

"I love you," he said.

"I love you too," she said.

He put his face down against the top of her head where it lay on his chest. Her hair smelled of verbena. In time their breathing settled.

"Let's play the video," she whispered.

"Let's," he said.

The camera stood beside the bed on a tripod. He got up, took the tape from it, put it in the VCR, got back into bed, and picked up the remote from the night table. She moved back into the circle of his arm, her head back on his chest.

"Show time," he said, and clicked the remote.

They watched.

"My God," she said. "Look at me."

"I love how you're looking right into the camera," he said.

They watched quietly for a little while.

"Whoa," she said. "What are you doing to me there?"

"Nothing you don't like," he said.

When the tape was over he rewound it.

"You want to watch again?" he said.

She was drawing tiny circles on his chest with her left forefinger.

"Yes."

He started the tape again.

"You know what I loved," she said. "I loved the range of expression on his face."

"Yes," he said, "that was great. First it's like, what the hell is this?"

"And then like, are you serious?"

"And then, omigod!"

"That's the best," she said. "The way he looked when he knew we were going to kill him. I've never seen a look like that."

"Yes," he said. "That was pretty good."

"I wish we could have made it last longer," she said.

He shrugged.

"My bad," she said. "I got so excited. I shot too soon."

"I've been known to do that," he said.

"Well, aren't you Mr. Dirty Mouth," she said.

They both laughed.

"We'll get better at it," he said.

She was now rubbing the slow circles on his chest with her full palm, looking at the videotape.

"Ohhh," she said. "Look at me! Look at me!"

He laughed softly. She moved her hand down his stomach.

"What's happening here?" she said.

He laughed again.

"Ohh," she said. "Good news."

She turned her body hard against him and put her face up.

"Be careful," she murmured. "My mouth is sore."

They made love again while the image of their previous lovemaking moved unseen on the television screen, and the sounds of that mingled with the sounds they were making now.

--from Stone Cold: A Jesse Stone Novel by Robert B. Parker, copyright © 2003 Robert B. Parker, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Another highly recommended book

    The killers in this book are so chillingly frightful with no conscience. Another good book featuring Chief Jesse Stone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    A good read. Quick and engaging.

    Love the Jesse Stone books. This is just another great example. I couldn't put it down (read it in less than two days-after work). The dry humor mixed with the suspense makes the book a real winner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jesse Stone

    Another good story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Excellent Reading

    I highly recommend!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    Love this series.

    Only thing I'd change so far of the 4 I've read is do away with Jen. Just when I really like the way things are going she shows up to mess up Jesse's head. Suppose that's part of the intrigue for the series. Have to see if Jesse ever smartens up and dumps her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Leaders Den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    BlackSky

    "Oh Yes! They r JayPaw and HawkPaw" he smied and licked her tears away

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    very good

    i am in the process of reading all the jesse stone novels and emjoy them very much. also love the movies with tom sellick

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Great read.

    Robert Parsons tells a good story that keeps you turning the pages. And amuses you, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Spirit

    *sleeps.*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Scarlet

    Cant kill me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Alec

    Ha you didnt ingore me i am able to make you angry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Zoey

    ?????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    KENS' STORY ~CHAPTER 8~

    BIG AND JUICY

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    To ken

    AAAAAAHHHHHH

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Moonflower

    Any one here?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Tawnysky

    Pokes her nose into the caves. Theyre dark and wet but there was a strange light in it

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Good Listening

    Robert Forster has the perfect voice for the Jesse Stone series. This is a good addition to the other Robert Parker audio books. I also enjoy reading his work, but listening while driving makes the road so much nicer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    Book Review

    I think Robert Parker acheived his purpose in writing a great criminal book. Sont Cold isnt the wonly book he wrote. Ironicly, he has a while section dedicated to Jesse Stone's life. Stone Cold is one out of fifty five other novels Parker has wrote. The Boston Globe said, 'Parker is in roaring good forn in this one,' and i agree. The writing effected me alot, because the book was so hard to put down. It was so interesting how Jesse hot himself into difficulties, but, somehow, found a way out of them. My overall response is that it was a great book, and it really had a good plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    Fun read

    You can't help liking Robert B. Parker's writing. Sparse in style, wry in dialogue, bizarre in action, you find yourself devouring each terse chapter. Jesse Stone is a believable yet unbelievable character. So methodical and practical in all areas of his life except one, you grab on to his coattails and hang on for the ride. One can feel the winter in this book while he handles two serious matters simulatenously, serial killings and revenge for a rape victim. Done with style and humor, you quit looking for motivation for the acts and instead rush to the conclusion. This book won't go down as a classic of literature, but it amply fulfills the desire for an enjoyable read.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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