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Brandman once again smoothly channels Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) in his second Jesse Stone novel (after 2011's Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues), though Stone's muted reaction to several dramatic events will strike some readers as inappropriate. Stone, the police chief of usually tranquil Paradise, Mass., personally witnesses a near-fatal car accident caused by 17-year-old Courtney Cassiday texting while driving. When Courtney's powerful parents stymie his attempts to make serious charges against her stick, he stakes out the girl in the expectation that she'll break the law again. Meanwhile, several Paradise residents report falsely inflated charges on their water bills-and violence threatens when a big-budget movie shoot comes to town, complete with a megastar who's afraid her estranged husband is out to kill her. More is less as the unrelated story lines compete with each other for depth, even if the larger-than-life lead is able to take them all in stride. Agent: Helen Brann, Helen Brann Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
When a movie crew comes to Paradise, Massachusetts, it's a boon to the local economy but a major headache for Police Chief Jesse Stone and his understaffed department. And that's if everything goes well. But the star of the movie, Marisol Hinton, is terrified that her estranged and meth-addicted husband will try to harm her. Since the Paradise PD can't provide around-the-clock protection, Jesse arranges to have Crow, an old friend and professional tough guy, at Hinton's side. When he's not babysitting show-biz types, Jesse attempts to counsel a young, privileged teenage girl with potentially crippling authority issues. And there's also the seemingly mundane matter of curiously increasing Paradise water bills. Brandman, in his second go-round as the caretaker of the late Parker's Stone franchise, does solid job here (much better than in his earlier Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (2011)). He nails Parker's compressionist prose this time and isn't quite as predictable in his plotting as the master had become. Parker's protagonists frequently offered tough love to wayward youngsters, but this time there's a little edge to the proceedings, as the water-department scandal adds a genuinely clever wrinkle. As for the stalker and the movie star? Let's just say tough guys gotta do what tough guys gotta do.--Lukowsky, Wes Copyright 2010 Booklist