By: Robert B. Parker
Publication Date: February 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 1, 2010
Anyone familiar with crime stories is no doubt familiar with Robert B. Parker and his hugely successful books including the Spenser and Jesse Stone series. Stranger in Paradise is an entry from the Jesse Stone series that demonstrates why many consider Parker to be a master of the genre.
Jesse Stone, once a Los Angeles cop, drunk and now police chief in the quiet Massachusetts town of Paradise, is dismayed when Wilson Crowmartie, an Apache hit man, walks into his office. The last time “Crow” was in Paradise was ten years ago when he was part of a group that kidnapped and killed people at the nearby Stiles Island. Crow managed to escape with a hefty ten million dollar booty.
Stone is naturally concerned, but this time, Crow wants his help. He has been hired to find a fourteen-year-old girl, Amber and simply wants Stone to stay out of his way. But when Amber’s father wants the girl’s mother killed, Crow asks for Stone’s help. It seems the heartless hit man “doesn’t kill women.” The two work together, never trusting each other, to save the girl, free her from the clutches of a ruthless gang member, while also dealing with the girl’s mobster father and his thugs.
Parker’s easy writing style, where most of the text is conversation, quickly draws the reader into a fast reading crime story. Jesse Stone, Crow and the other characters are well developed and I found myself caring what happened to each. While Crow’s animal magnetism, drawing every female into his arms, was a bit of a stretch, the overall story of saving the teen was quick and enthralling. This book has hooked me on the series.
Quill says: Whether you’re a die-hard Jesse Stone/Robert Parker fan, or a newbie to these books, Stranger in Paradise will draw you in.