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Publisher's Summary

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.

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' 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. Forced to delve into a world of stormy relationships, Jesse soon comes to realize that knowing whom to trust is indeed a matter of life and death.

©2007 Robert B. Parker; (P)2007 Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This is Parker's most complex, ambitious novel in years....Great reading from an old hand who hasn't lost his touch." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Maureen
  • Alexandria, VA, USA
  • 02-01-09


The plot was ok, but the book was not designed for listening. The author over-relied on the phrases "He said.." or "she said." If I heard the word "said" one more time I was going to scream. After 15 minutes, it was like fingernails on a blackboard, I couldn't take it anymore!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • hwhhwh1
  • Prescott, Arizona and Captain Cook, Hawaii
  • 02-23-07

Best Parker in a while

I'm a big Parker fan and this is his best in quite a while. I've rated recent books from 3-4 but this one I give a 5. There are two interesting plots woven into this book. Also, Jesse Stone has apparently overcome one addiction only to succumb to a worse one. And in keeping with Parker's recent trend, action is given the back bench to detection, character development, and dialog.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Babs
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 02-18-07

When the heroes are weaker than the criminals

I was initially drawn to this series and its characters, especially because the Spenser novels have become so trite and formulaic. The murder investigation in this book is reasonably interesting -- so many suspects with so many motives -- but the central characters are just getting silly. Jesse's inability to distance himself from his lying, unfaithful, manipulative and narcissistic ex-wife -- who proves herself even more despicable in this novel -- makes it difficult to trust his judgment on anything else. He's also turning into a bit of a bully. And Sunny, the private investigator and Jesse's potential new love interest, is equally in thrall to her ex, who may or may not be a mobster. Don't these people learn from the criminals they investigate? Supporting characters Molly and Suitcase are more fleshed out here, which is fun and welcome. I guess I'm just as bad as Jesse and Sunny, because I'll never give up on Parker, even though his last few books have been so disappointing -- whatever happened to the man who wrote such books as Looking for Rachel Wallace?

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeremy
  • New Market, MD, USA
  • 07-02-07

Jesse said

This was one of the rare books I stopped listening to. Every line of speech ended with 'Jessie said' or 'Molly said'. The narrator only made it more obvious. They never replied, answered, or exclaimed, only 'said'. So distracting I couldn't pay attention to the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Hurst, TX, United States
  • 02-25-07

Mediocre Writing

This is a mildly entertaining mystery, but the writing is not well-crafted. The dialogue is unnatural and there are erroneous and contradictory details. Enjoyable, but not in the same class as Michael Connelly or Jeffrey Deaver.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Jesse's Been Better; Much Better

Let me begin by praising Scott Sower's narration. He may not be as good as James Naughton but he's close and after suffering through previous readings by Richard Masur he sounded great. The weaknesses in this Jesse Stone audiobook lie completely with the author. Parker has an unfortunate tendency to equate obsession and a sick dependency with love, but in this book he really takes it over the top. Then there is the constant repetition of the word 'love' plus continual questions of everyone in a bad relationship "do you love him or her."Add the bombardment of the word promiscuous; a word practically extinct since the 1960's, to any/all questions regarding any female's sexuality and Parker's writing seems even more outdated.
On the positive side the author seems to know police investigation techniques really well; none of those obvious bonehead misses that populate so many wannabe police procedurals. If you're fifty or over (and you're male) you may enjoy this book; otherwise I don't recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stacey
  • Cheyenne, WY, United States
  • 11-10-08

Please listen to a preview...

before you spend your money. I love Parker, but the reading of this book almost made me rethink my Audible subscription. I did finally get through it and the story was good, if not just a bit "mushy" for my taste. I was really annoyed by all of the monotone "Jesse said"'s and will not be listening to this book again at any time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Better to hit your head against the wall

The gratingly large number of "he said" is impressive and oppressive. Like hitting your head against a wall; it felt really good to turn the book off and return to blissful silence. In written form, your eyes might just scan over the endless, mantra-like repetition, but hearing it was painful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • North Bay, ON, Canada
  • 06-29-07

high Profile

Mr. Parker did an excellant job blending this book with his past books. I like the all 3 of his Boston Area detectives. keep up the good work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Shelby Twp, MI, USA
  • 04-09-07

Action packed

Parker does it again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • 11-20-17

Awful on Audio

I normally enjoy listening to Parker's books on audio but I can't listen to this because of the narrator constantly repeating 'he said', 'Jesse said', ' she said' after every few words. Its very distracting and makes the book impossible to listen to. I've wasted my money buying this.