Night Passage (1997)

#1 in Jesse Stone,
 4.23 (13 RATINGS)
ISBN: 0425183963
ISBN-13: 9780425183960
Published: 1997
Pages: 416
Publisher: Berkley
Find at: Amazon | Others

Description

Fans often feel uneasy when the creator of a popular character ventures into new turf, and sometimes their trepidation is justified. But readers of Robert B. Parker's immensely popular Spenser series can breathe a sigh of relief: while Night Passage doesn't feature Spenser, his usual gang of associates, or a Boston setting, it's vintage Parker--fast, witty, suspenseful, and engaging. Told in short, crisp chapters, it's the story of Jesse Stone, a 34-year-old ex-cop who just lost his L.A. policeman's job and his marriage due to a drinking problem. The book opens as Stone leaves California for his new job as chief of police in the picturesque town of Paradise, Massachusetts. But Paradise isn't as placid as it seems--in fact, it's a festering mass of petty corruption, right-wing militia, sexual scandal, and bad guys who favor strong-arm tactics. Night Passage boasts a delicious, classic setup: the lone lawman, new in town, must make his stand to clean the place up. Stone has been picked for the job because the town fathers figured he'd be weak and malleable; as he gradually pulls himself together, it turns out they have a surprise in store. Stone's qualities may remind you of Spenser's--he's taciturn, fearless, good-looking, and compassionate--and in the end the plot's pleasing complexities get resolved a bit simply. But Robert B. Parker is in fine form in Night Passage, with his smart-aleck wit under control and his prose at its economical best. Spenser fans and Parker neophytes alike will find plenty to enjoy here. And the setting is, after all, not far from Boston--dare we hope for a Spenser-Stone meeting in future books? -- From Amazon.com Amazon.com Review

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