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Sea Change (Jesse Stone Novels) by Parker, Robert B. (2007) Mass Market Paperback Mass Market Paperback
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Part of it is just the magic that some writers have. Parker's style is simultaneously spare and full of apparently insignificant details; the effect is to immerse the reader without effort in a very real-seeming world. The impetus of the plot is internally generated, creating an organic sensation of forward momentum that all the careful study of plot structure in the world can't convey.
In other words, even late in his career the old master still had "it," whatever "it" is. "Sea Change" is almost stunningly more readable than most of what's out there.
At the same time, I can't say that it's Parker's best work. If you've read his other works, you'll recognize a lot of the same setup: an undefined relationship that requires a lot of therapy sessions for the main character to understand, set against a backdrop of a sordid story of sexual exploitation and abuse. And what is this with the fake accusations of rape? Kudos to Parker for making an effort throughout his career to write interesting and sympathetic female characters, but he never could quite shake the sexualization of his women, all of whom are more or less sex-mad.
That being said, "Sea Change" is a high-quality prose treat. If you're a Parker fan, you'll probably enjoy it. If you haven't read any Parker yet, you might want to start at the beginning of the series, but this will also give you a good enough intro. Either way, you're likely to enjoy it.
The mystery is only one part of the book, however. The other part deals with the on-going question of whether Jesse Stone and his ex-wife can successfully reconcile. To fully appreciate that part of the book, I recommend you read the first four books in the series first. At this point the series is like a long love story about Stone and his ex-wife, with the various mysteries thrown in to keep him busy. That's not to say that the mystery and crime elements aren't good, just that they only take up about 60% of any given book in the series.
One other note - Parker's Boston-based detective Spenser makes an unnamed cameo appearance in the book, in case you were wondering if the two series were related. I'm not as familiar with the Spenser novels, so there may be other crossover characters that I'm not aware of, but I do plan to work my way through that series eventually.
This book covers the story of abuse within families and how rich people can get away with just about anything.......or can they.
I love reading Jesse Stone stories as he is such a dry character with hidden feelings. Not one for words but when he is around you would feel safe.
Robert B Parker knows who to keep all entertained and how to keep you guessing. Even if you can work out what is going on, you still want to read more on how the puzzle is solved.
Top reviews from other countries
My only grumble with this Kindle book (Mr Parker didn't need to lose a star for this) is that the download appears to be in pale grey rather than the usual black. I 'turn' the page and the text is black for a moment, then fades to the gray. Apparently something to do with greyscale rendering, but it was very annoying, especially as I thought it was my Kindle messing it up!! But the story, five stars!
All of the Jessie Stone books have her running through them, sad really