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Night and Day (Jesse Stone Novels) Paperback – February 2, 2010
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When the sun sets in Paradise, the women get nervous. A Peeping Tom is on the loose. According to the notes he sends Police Chief Jesse Stone, he's about to take his obsession one step further.
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
THE SPENSER NOVELS
Now & Then
Pale Kings and Princes
Taming a Sea-Horse
A Catskill Eagle
The Widening Gyre
A Savage Place
Looking for Rachel Wallace
The Judas Goat
God Save the Child
The Godwulf Manuscript
THE JESSE STONE NOVELS
Stranger in Paradise
Death in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise
THE SUNNY RANDALL NOVELS
ALSO BY ROBERT B. PARKER
All Our Yesterdays
A Year at the Races
(with Joan H. Parker)
Perchance to Dream
(with Raymond Chandler)
Love and Glory
Three Weeks in Spring
(with Joan H. Parker)
Training with Weights
(with John R. Marsh)
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Publishers Since 1838
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Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Parker, Robert B., date.
Night and day / Robert B. Parker.
eISBN : 978-1-101-01605-3
1. Police chiefs—Massachusetts—Fiction. 2. Sex crimes—
Investigation—Fiction. 3. Voyeurism—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3566.A686N53 2009b 2008054245
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either
are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously,
and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses,
companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone
numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the
publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for
changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not
have any control over and does not assume any responsibility
for author or third-party websites or their content.
Only you beneath the moon
and under the sun.
JESSE STONE sat in his office at the Paradise police station, looking at the sign painted on the pebbled-glass window of his office door. From the inside it read FEIHC, or it would have, if the letters hadn’t been backward. He tried pronouncing the word, decided he couldn’t, and stopped thinking about it. On his desk was a glamour head shot of his ex-wife. He looked at it for a time, and decided not to think about that, either.
Molly Crane came from the front desk and opened the door.
“Suit just called in,” she said. “There’s some kind of disturbance at the junior high school and he thinks you and I ought to come down.”
“Girls involved?” Jesse said.
“That’s why he wants me,” Molly said.
“I understand,” Jesse said. “But why does he want me?”
“You’re the chief of police,” Molly said. “Everybody wants you.”
Jesse glanced at Jenn’s picture again.
“Oh,” Jesse said. “Yeah.”
Jesse stood, and clipped his gun to his belt.
“Though you sure don’t dress like a chief,” Molly said.
Jesse was wearing a uniform shirt, blue jeans, Nikes, a dark blue Paradise police baseball hat, and a badge that said Chief. He tapped the badge.
“I do where it counts,” he said. “Who’s on the desk?”
“Steve,” Molly said.
“Okay,” Jesse said. “You drive. No siren.”
“Oh, damn,” Molly said. “I never get to use the siren.”
“Maybe when you make sergeant,” Jesse said.
There were two Paradise police cruisers parked outside of the junior high school.
“Who’s in the other cruiser,” Jesse said as they got out of the car.
“Eddie Cox,” Molly said. “He and Suit have seven to eleven this week.”
They walked into the school lobby, where a thick mill of parents was being held at bay by two Paradise cops. Most of the parents were mothers, with a scatter of fathers looking oddly out of place. When Jesse came in they all swarmed toward him, many of them speaking to him loudly.
“You’re the chief of police, are you gonna do something?”
“I want that woman arrested!”
“She’s a goddamned child molester!”
“What are you going to do about this?”
“Do you know what she did?”
“Did they tell you what happened here?”
Jesse ignored them.
He said to Molly, “Keep them here.”
Then he pointed at Suit and jerked his head down the hallway.
- ASIN : 0425232999
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (February 2, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780425232996
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425232996
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.28 x 0.91 x 7.43 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #131,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Incidentally, if you've seen any of the nicely done "Jesse Stone" television movies starring Tom Selleck as Jesse, you have a good idea of what the book series is all about, though Jesse is about 20 years younger on the printed page. However, both book and television versions of the character struggle with alcohol in the same way, often drinking too much but so far resisting full-blown alcoholism.
Mr. Parker's addictive novels almost always feature strong sexual subplots and/or subtexts in addition to the main plotlines. Here, though, the sex is front and center with three- count 'em, three- main sex plotines: 1) Paradise is in an uproar after a school principal insists on inspecting her female students' undergarments to make sure the little darlings aren't wearing anything too provocative; 2) a Peeping Tom is terrorizing the town's quiet streets, trying to catch women getting undressed or getting out of the shower as he peers through their windows; and 3) a young girl comes to Chief Stone (after meeting him during the case of the skimpy underwear) because she's disturbed by her parents' swinging/partner-swapping lifestyle. Jesse hops among the three cases, each heavy with obsessive behavior in some way, which in turn makes him think of his own near-obsession with his ex-wife Jenn. Clever, no?
With the story advancing mostly via short, rapid-fire dialogue sequences, "Night and Day" is an especially fast read, even by Mr. Parker's own well-established standard for lightning pacing. This didn't bother me, as Mr. Parker has never been about dense prose. He's always said a lot with a little. But if you're one of those readers who regularly complain that Mr. Parker's publishers disguise his essentially short novels as longer ones via thick paper and double-spacing, you'll probably complain again here.
Little treats abound. We get to see Mr. Parker's blonde and perky, yet very dangerous, P.I. character Sunny Randall, who's actually been through a lot since we last saw Sunny in her own series entry. It's interesting, though, that we find out a few new developments in Sunny's life, including the passing of her beloved dog Rosie, via this book instead of a book in her own series. Happily, the book also features- just maybe- a final resolution to the Jesse/Jenn merry-go-round. But the jury is still out on that score... at least until the next Jesse Stone book. As said, Jesse's weakness when it comes to Jenn is an interesting contrast to his usual strength and confidence, but I can't argue with those who want to see- after nine books- some resolution to Jesse's romantic situation.
One thing in "Night and Day" was kind of strange, however. For a bunch of characters (Jesse, uniformed cops Molly Crane, Suitcase Simpson, and a few others)) who have consistently displayed high libidos, sexual adventurousness, and general openmindedness during the course of this series, they were suddenly moralistic, puritanical, and judgmental in their views and interaction with the Paradise Free Swingers, the swinging group that ties into a couple of the plotlines here. Mr. Parker's portrayals didn't help matters, either. Of the swingers we get to know a little, most are either weak women who were forced into the lifestyle by their husbands, or husbands who are creeps or worse. I'm not defending or promoting that particular way of life, but it would have been a little more interesting if there was at least one upbeat, positively-portrayed swinger character that Mr. Parker dared us to like a little.
I did enjoy the book overall, though. These characters are like old friends now, and it's always fun to see them. By now, they interact like parts of a well-oiled machine, drawing us right into the proceedings as efficiently as ever.
But I think I agree with many other readers who have weighed in on Jesse's latest tale: I'm ready for the seamy stuff to be put on the back burner for a while. Let's have Jesse take on a regular old murder mystery or bank heist plot next time. Seamy can be fun, but ultimately only in small doses.
Now, on to Night and Day, which is the eighth novel in the "Jesse Stone" series. Like the seven previous books, the small-town chief of police has to deal with three cases simultaneously, which keeps the story line moving along at a brisk pace and the reader from being bored. I probably should mention that while Jesse's attempting to solve his three cases, he's also battling his obsession with his ex-wife, Jenn, and with alcoholism, both of which are tied closely together.
This time around, Jesse has to deal with a rather unusual situation that involves a female high-school principal and a panty check of the young girls going to the school dance on one particular night. The principal claims that she was only doing it to make sure the girls intended to be good and not naughty by wearing thongs and other sexy lingerie underneath their skirts. The parents of the children, however, are outraged over the act and want Jesse to do something about it. He pretty much agrees with the parents and thinks that it's definitely an invasion of privacy, but it doesn't help matters that the principal just happens to be married to the head of Boston's top law firm. Along with that problem, Jesse has to deal with a voyeur who calls himself the Night Hawk and likes to look into the windows of women as they're undressing at night. His antics soon escalate into daytime breaking & entering, not to mention home invasion, and Jesse's worried that someone may eventually get hurt during the commission of the crime. Last, but not least, a young girl approaches Jesse to complain about her swinging parents and how it's hurting the family. Jesse doesn't have a problem with consenting adults swinging, if that's what they want to do, but when children are experiencing the negative side effects in this type of behavior, he feels the need to step in and do something about it before more emotional damage is caused.
The story line and pacing of Night and Day are similar to the other books in the series, and the reader doesn't really encounter anything new here. The fun of the books, however, is in getting to visit with Jesse Stone for a few hours and to see how he's doing and to find out what's happening in Paradise, Massachusetts. The reader knows going into the story that Jesse will solve the crimes in one fashion or another, but it's Jesse himself that's the big attraction. He a good man, a tough man when necessary, but he still has problems like everybody else. As a reader and fan, I want to know how's he coping with his alcoholism and with the addiction to his ex-wife. Actually, I want to see him happy and at peace with himself, which leads to one very good thing about this particular novel--private investigator Sunny Randall is back (she and Jesse decide to give it another shot), plus her best friend, Spike, is opening a new restaurant in Paradise.
As with most of Mr. Parker's books, Night and Day is well written with sharp, crisp dialogue that makes the reader want to try out some of the lines at work. And, like the TV movies, the novels basically follow the saga of Jesse Stone's life to see where he's at and how he's dealing with the day-to-day challenges. I think most readers can identify with the chief of police on many levels, be it problems with the person you love, or the need to drink in order to escape the stress of everyday life.
Robert B. Parker's novels are always a delight to read and certainly entertaining in every sense of the word. Night and Day is no exception, and is a wonderful addition to an already marvelous series. I'll also add that older readers tend to enjoy Jesse Stone somewhat more than the younger ones, but Robert B. Parker does have a large fan base of all ages. Coming in May, the third novel in the "Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch" western series. Yeeeeehaaaa!
Top reviews from other countries
Discovered Jesse Stone via the brilliant TV movies and this was the first novel I read. All the books are a joy to read, great writing style, dialogue & humor and quick reading I always open a Jesse Stone book when I know I have time to read in one sitting undisturbed. They run along at a great pace encompassing engaging characters, plenty of twists and emotions. When I finish one of these novels I always feel I have been properly entertained and can't wait to open the next. I have not read them in sequence which so far hasn't been a problem.
I hope a decision is made soon on the future of the TV films 'we need more', Tom Selleck has stated he has not finished with the character :-) so in the meantime enjoying getting my Jesse Stone fix via Kindle, couple of published novels yet to hit the Kindle market hope they do soon and hoping for more Jesse Stone novels with the colaboration of Michael Brandman.
I was initially drawn to the Jesse Stone films starring Tom Sellick and am now starting No.13 and although the writers have changed the same thoughtful, brooding, flawed & principled character remains a constant in a hugely enjoyable series. I'll be looking at the spenser series next.
Jesse is a gem don't miss him.