Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stranger in Paradise -- Robert B. Parker

Crow, the self-described full-blood Apache, who appeared in an earlier Jesse Stone novel, returns for this one. As the name might tell you, he's a lot like Hawk, from the Spenser novels, only different. He's sort of what Hawk would be if not for Spenser's good influence, I guess, and he's looking for the daughter of a Florida mob boss. Stone, for reasons of his own, agrees to help. The girl might remind you of other troubled teens from Parker's other books, and I have a feeling we'll be hearing more about her in the future.

The plot is pretty straightforward, with the usual side trips to Stone's shrink, who's helping him understand his relationship with Susan, er, I mean Jill. There's some shooting and there's plenty of "he's so complete and inward" and that kind of thing.

And talk about short paragraphs and white space! I almost went snowblind. I thought at times that Parker was channeling Ross Spencer (now there's an in-joke for you).

Naturally I liked the book, but then I like pretty much everything by Parker. I'm uncritical when it comes to Parker's books. I can't help it. If you're a Parker fan, and there must be a few left out there besides me, you'll like it, too.


  1. I'm with you, buddy! All of the critical things we can say about Parker are true, but the bottom line is they don't matter -- the guy can write and I'm gonna be there for every word.

    I don't care how interchangable his characters are from series to series (Sunny Randall = Spencer in drag, etc.), contemporary to western, I identify with his themes and love the male bonding and interaction.

    Jill is becoming as irritating as Susan was before she morphed into another female version of Spencer, but you've gotta have something to pick on Parker about beside wide margins and short paragraphs (the Ross Spenser reference took me back a ways).


  2. I figured I wasn't the only one who'd remember Chance Perdue.

  3. Gerard10:40 AM

    I cannot recall the last time I read a Parker novel. The last one I listened to was Potshot.

    I've enjoyed Selleck's Stone movies.

  4. For the most part, Selleck's movies have followed the books very well. Selleck is perfect for the role of Jesse Stone.

  5. I'm a Parker fan, but stick to Spencer and uh, the westerns that he's now writing.

  6. I remember Perdue. Didn't he retire and take up chicken farming? I still read Parker, too, but I wait for the books to show up at the used book stores.

  7. I've heard that Selleck is doing a Jesse Stone not based on a Parker novel. I, too, think he's perfect in the role and would love to see him continue making the occasional film. A weekly series might get a little goofy after awhile.

  8. I think it was in Dan Simmons' first ex-con-turned-PI Joe Kurtz novel, "Hardcase", that Kurtz expresses incredulity that his secretary still reads the Spenser books and asks her if Spenser has killed off his girlfriend yet. My favorite Spenser will always be "Early Autumn". Although I'm a bit weary of the formula, I will still buy and read the Spenser books, as well as the Stone books. I've borrowed the Westerns from the library. I found both enjoyable. I'm behind in buying used the Sunny Randall books which interest me less. I'm sorry the Helen Hunt as Sunny movies never came about. Selleck makes a good Jesse Stone. I'd like to see Spenser come back to TV played by Alan Autry (Bubba on "In The Heat Of The Night" TV show) after he finishes his second term as mayor of Fresno, California.

    I still have to figure out if I have a copy of High Profile around here, and have Stranger in Paradise in my read pile, as well as the last Spenser, and the newest James W. Hall Thorn book, "Hell's Bay". I see there's a new Randy Wayne White Doc Ford novel out. I'm behind in buying and reading them, as well as Pronzini's last Nameless and William Tapply's (son of Tap's Tips scribe, H. G. Tapply) Boston lawyer, Brady Coyne mystery novels.

    Doesn't list Viola Davis as Molly Crane, I hope she's in it. She's a honey and an asset to the series.

    Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2008)


  10. I have a friend who buys all Parker books in hardcover and then passes them to me after he's read them. I'm lucky that way.