Connie Kelly thought she'd found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the CIA. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost 300,000 dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser's card.
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 surprised 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 dead.
"Good start to a great series!"
When Robin Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied at an exclusive university, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It seems the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, and as Spenser digs deeper, he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist. At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K.C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively when K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him.
"Parker + Spencer + Reynolds = magic I"
After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, 35-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 that pass in the night. He finds he must test his mettle and powers of command to emerge a local hero - or the deadest of dupes.
"Difficult to follow"
Stiles Island is a wealthy and exclusive enclave separated by a bridge from the Massachusetts coast town of Paradise. James Macklin sees Stiles Island as the ultimate investment opportunity: all he needs to do is invade the island, blow the bridge, and loot the island. To realize his investment, 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.
"Good story but bad audio"
When the body of controversial talk-show host Walton Weeks is discovered hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Paradise, police chief Jesse Stone finds himself at the center of a highly public case. When another dead body, that of a young woman, is discovered just a few days later, the pressure to solve the crimes becomes almost unbearable.
A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.
"Probably the best Spenser book"
Spenser is good at finding things. But this time he has a client out on Cape Cod who is in over his head. Harvey Shepard has lost his pretty wife - and a very pretty quarter million bucks in real estate. Now a loan shark is putting on the bite.
"Spencer is my hero!"
Spenser smells corruption in a college town. Taft University's hottest basketball star is shaving points for quick cash. All manner of sleaze -- from corrupt academics to hoods with graduate degrees -- have their fingers in the pot. Spenser's search takes him from lecture halls to blue collar bars and finally into a bloody confrontation with almost certain death. But Spenser saves an arrogant young athlete -- even though it nearly kills him to do it.
"Terrible voice actor"
The adoring wife of a senatorial candidate has a smile as sweet as candy and dots her "i's" with little hearts. A blond beauty, she is the perfect mate for an ambitious politician, but she has a little problem with sex and drugs--a problem someone has managed to put on videotape. The big boys figure a little blackmail will put her husband out of the race. Until Spenser hops on the candidate's bandwagon.
Spenser's out to make war, not love, as he goes after Boston's entire X-rated industry. Pretty teenager April Kyle has disappeared into the city's darkest underworld, and to rescue her, Spencer pits muscle and wit against bullets and bullies.
"2 ½ stars."
When a Hollywood-based TV series schedules filming in Boston, Spenser smells trouble. When he signs up to protect the show's star, Jill Joyce, he knows it's on its way. First, there's Jill herself. She's spoiled, arrogant, drugged out -- made worse by fear. Someone is out to get her -- does she imagine it, or is it real?
"Stardust, another winner by Parker"
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.
When Spenser accepts a job as a "bodyguard" for a beautiful young woman, he gets in way over his head.
"Spenser is a pleasure"
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.
"Jessie is the man!"
What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that's exactly what happened.
Spenser's girlfriend Susan goes away with another man, Jerry Costigan, the son of a very rich and dangerous criminal. Spenser and his friend, Hawk, go to find Susan. Soon they are in the world of the CIA, guns and murder.
"Outlandish Events in the Name of Love"
TV reporter Candy Sloan has eyes the color of cornflowers and legs that stretch all the way to heaven. She also has somebody threatening to rearrange her lovely face if she keeps on snooping into charges of Hollywood racketeering. Spenser's job is to keep Candy healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career.
"A Different Kind of Spencer"
Boston P.I. Spenser returns - heading west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town recently reborn as a paradise for Los Angeles millionaires looking for a place to escape the pressures of their high-flying lifestyles. When a band of modern-day mountain men, led by a charismatic individual known as The Preacher, takes over the town, even the local police are powerless to defend the residents in the face of the clever, dangerous gang.
Spenser is forced by loyalty into an alien world where violence is a way of lie and outsiders enter at a lethal risk. When Spenser's cohort Hawk is hired by the tenants of a gang-plagued Boston housing project known as "Double Deuce," he enlists his friend's aid. A friend's girl and her infant daughter have been gunned down. Though the act at first appears to be an accidental drive-by shooting, it soon becomes clear that it was premeditated murder.
"Good Story, Lousy reader"