Paradise is rocked by the mayor's untimely death in the latest novel starring police chief Jesse Stone.
The town of Paradise receives a tragic shock when the mayor is discovered dead, his body lying in a shallow grave on a property on the lake. It's ostensibly suicide, but Jesse's has his doubts . . . especially because the piece of land where the man was found is the subject of a contentious and dodgy land deal.
Two powerful moguls are fighting over the right to buy and develop the prime piece of real estate, and one of them has brought in a hired gun, an old adversary of Jesse’s: Wilson Cromartie, aka Crow. Meanwhile, the town council is debating if they want to sacrifice Paradise’s stately character for the economic boost of a glitzy new development. Tempers are running hot, and as the deaths begin to mount, it’s increasingly clear that the mayor may have standing in the wrong person’s way.
A high-profile homicide case, the shooting murder of Mayor Neil O'Hara, preoccupies Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone in Lupica's solid second franchise contribution (after 2020's Fool's Paradise). O'Hara's successor, Gary Armistead, insists the death was a suicide, as the weapon was right next to O'Hara's hand and only the dead man's footprints were at the scene. Armistead directs Stone to close his inquiry fast so as not to imperil the imminent sale of the town's most valuable property to a developer intending to build a hotel and casino. When Stone finds clear evidence of murder, he pursues every lead, even probing a former flame of his, O'Hara's ex-wife. Since O'Hara opposed the proposed development, the chief digs into the two men competing to buy the property. Lupica successfully captures the cadences and banter of Parker's crime fiction, but some may question his choice to give Stone a gunslinging sidekick with a shady background, Wilson Cromartie, who's underdeveloped compared to similar supporting players in Parker's Spenser books. Still, most Parker fans won't be disappointed.
Great Whodunit ! Good plots and lots of action plus a super ending.
Meh - It was just off.
With a Jesse Stone follow up to several fantastic Lupica Stone/Randall books, this one is just not quite on the same level. Ignoring Michael Brandman’s Stone/Crow partnership in “Fool Me Twice”, this book seems to force an uncomfortable reunion between Stone, Molly Crane, and Crow and (SPOILER) leaves Stone/Randall fans confused as to what happened between the last book and this one that would result in the final pages of this less than enthralling story. Hopefully the upcoming Sunny Randall book will reignite the joy Lupica’s other RBP books have previously brought to this reader.
Horrible. Writing is third . . . No maybe second grade. First Parker book I’ve read, and was confused that he was so popular when this was SO bad. Did some research and realized he didn’t write it. Can’t believe the Parker estate gave this guy the right to write under his name.