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About Robert B. Parker
Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.
Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.
Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.
Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.
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When a woman's partially decomposed body washes ashore in Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is forced into a case far more difficult than it initially appears. Identifying the woman is just the first step in what proves to be an emotionally charged investigation. Florence Horvath was an attractive, recently divorced heiress from Florida; she also had a penchant for steamy sex and was an enthusiastic participant in a video depicting the same. Somehow the combination of her past and present got her killed, but no one is talking—not the crew of the Lady Jane, the Fort Lauderdale yacht moored in Paradise Harbor; not her very blond, very tan twin sisters, Corliss and Claudia; and not her curiously affectless parents, living out a sterile retirement in a Miami high rise. But someone—Jesse—has to speak for the dead, even if it puts him in harm's way.
Rachel Wallace is a tough young woman with a lot of enemies.
Spenser is a tough guy with a macho code of honor, hired to protect a woman who thinks that kind of code is obsolete. Privately, they will never see eye to eye.
But when Rachel vanishes. Spenser is ready to lay his life on the line—to find Rachel Wallace.
“A rare kind of book.”—Chicago Sun-Times
After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, thirty-five-year-old Jesse Stone’s future looks bleak. So he’s shocked when a small Massachusetts town called Paradise recruits him as police chief. He can’t help wondering if this job is a genuine chance to start over, the kind of offer he can’t refuse.
Once on board, Jesse doesn’t have to look for trouble in Paradise: it comes to him. For what is on the surface a quiet New England community quickly proves to be a crucible of political and moral corruption—replete with triple homicide, tight Boston mob ties, flamboyantly errant spouses, maddened militiamen and a psychopath-about-town who has fixed his violent sights on the new lawman. Against all this, Jesse stands utterly alone, with no one to trust—even he and the woman he’s seeing are like ships passing in the night. He finds he must test his mettle and powers of command to emerge a local hero—or the deadest of dupes.
When the body of controversial talk-show host Walton Weeks is discovered hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone finds himself at the center of a highly public case, forcing him to deal with small-minded local officials and national media scrutiny. When another dead body-that of a young woman-is discovered just a few days later, the pressure becomes almost unbearable.
Two victims in less than a week should provide a host of clues, but all Jesse runs into are dead ends. But what may be the most disturbing aspect of these murders is the fact that no one seems to care-not a single one of Weeks's ex-wives, not the family of the girl. And when the medical examiner reveals a heartbreaking link between the two departed souls, the mystery only deepens.
Despite Weeks's reputation and the girl's tender age, Jesse is hard-pressed to find legitimate suspects. Though the crimes are perhaps the most gruesome Jesse has ever witnessed, it is the malevolence behind them that makes them all the more frightening. Forced to delve into a world of stormy relationships, Jesse soon comes to realize that knowing whom he can trust is indeed a matter of life and death.
Stiles Island is a wealthy and exclusive enclave separated by a bridge from the Massachusetts coast town of Paradise. James Macklin sees the Island as the ultimate investment opportunity: all he needs to do is invade it, blow the bridge, and loot the island. To realize his scheme, Macklin, along with his devoted girlfriend, Faye, assembles a crew of fellow ex-cons—all experts in their fields—including Wilson Cromartie, a fearsome Apache. James Macklin is a bad man, a very bad man. And Wilson Cromartie, known as Crow, is even worse.
As Macklin plans his crime, Paradise police chief Jesse Stone has his hands full. He faces romantic entanglements in triplicate: his ex-wife, Jenn, is in the Paradise jail for assault, he’s begun a new relationship with a Stiles Island realtor named Marcy Campbell, and he’s still sorting out his feelings for attorney Abby Taylor. When Macklin’s attack on Stiles Island is set in motion, both Marcy and Abby are put in jeopardy. As the casualties mount, it’s up to Jesse to keep both women from harm.
“The toughest, funniest, wisest, private eye in the field these days.”—Houston Chronicle
Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surpised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest.
The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked “D”—for dead.
The body in the trunk was just the beginning.
Turns out the stiff was a foot soldier for local tough guy Reggie Galen, now enjoying a comfortable "retirement" with his beautiful wife, Rebecca, in the nicest part of Paradise. Living next door are Knocko Moynihan and his wife, Robbie, who also happens to be Rebecca's twin. But what initially appears to be a low-level mob hit takes on new meaning when a high-ranking crime figure is found dead on Paradise Beach.
Stressed by the case, his failed relationship with his ex-wife, and his ongoing battle with the bottle, Jesse needs something to keep him from spinning out of control. When private investigator Sunny Randall comes into town on a case, she asks for Jesse's help. As their professional and personal relationships become intertwined, both Jesse and Sunny realize that they have much in common with both their victims and their suspects—and with each other.
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.
Autumn in Paradise, Massachusetts, is usually idyllic. Not this time. A Hollywood movie company has come to town and brought troubled star Marisol Hinton—beautiful, talented, demanding, and scared out of her wits that her estranged husband's jealousy might take a violent turn. When she receives a death threat, Jesse and the Paradise police department go on high alert. But more lives are in danger than Jesse imagines—including his own.
Robert B. Parker takes readers back in Paradise, where Detective Jesse Stone is looking for two things: the killer of a teenage girl—and someone, anyone, who is willing to claim the body...
The local cops haven't seen anything like this, but Jesse's L.A. past has made him all too familiar with floaters. This girl hadn't committed suicide; she hadn't been drowned: she'd been shot and dumped, discarded like trash. Before long it becomes clear that she had a taste for the wild life; and her own parents can't be bothered to report her missing, or even admit that she once was a child of theirs. All Jesse has to go on is a young man's school ring on a gold chain, and a hunch or two.
Filled with magnetic characters and the muscular writing that are Parker's trademarks, Death in Paradise is a storytelling masterpiece.
She was barely out of her teens, not exactly beautiful, but she’d tried to make the most of her looks.
Now, defiled and alone in a seedy beachfront motel, she was dead. And Paradise Police Chief Jesse Stone doesn’t even know her name. But when his investigation lures him into the crosshairs of two ruthless pimps, Jesse finds out more about the girl than he ever dreamed. Because in pursuit of justice, if anyone can see the truth in dark, dark places, it’s Jesse Stone.