TROUBLE IN PARADISE by Robert B. Parker

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Parker’s 30th novel brings back Jesse Stone, alcoholic police chief of Paradise, Mass. (Night Passage, 1997), whose customary round-robin of sorrows (the mother of a pair of anti-gay arsonist teenaged boys who’s determined to break him for harassing her poor kids) and joys (the sometime return to Jesse’s bed of his actress-ex, Jenn, now reading the weather forecast on Channel 3, and the welcome presence of several other ladies with clingy pants and short skirts) is interrupted by plans for a big score. The plans are made by Jimmy Macklin, a con who’s got his eye on Stiles Island, Paradise’s wealthiest and most easily isolated enclave. Generously borrowing earlier capers everywhere from Hammett’s “The Gutting of Couffignal” to Sanders’s The Anderson Tapes, Macklin, who seems more excited to be planning the score than to be counting the take, methodically gathers his troops (a crooked sailor, a cracker electrician, an explosives expert, and a stone killer) and prepares for an all-day assault on Stiles Island. Meantime, a couple of telltale clues (as in the amusing episode when Macklin, suitably disguised as a prospective buyer on Stiles Island, pays a visit to Jesse to check him out, and the two men compete in a race—as it were)put Jesse onto the gang with satisfyingly predictable results. All right, it’s no Asphalt Jungle. But Parker writes so economically—even the women this time out have caught Jesse’s terseness—that he almost has you believing this old, old story is happening for the first time.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-14433-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998




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