I had previously read one of Parker's novels in the Jesse Stone series and I absolutely hated it. With a new author on board, I figured I would give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised. There were multiple story lines going on this novel. The most prominent is an ex-con Stone had seriously messed up while he was drunk and angry coming after him in Paradise. A car theft ring with mob ties ends up in murder. A bullied girl holds her principal at gun point, and Stone develops a love interest. It's almost too much going on for such a short novel, but at least it kept the story moving at all times, and there is little wasted space.
I liked the writing style in this novel, more so than Robert Parker's. As I mentioned, the pace was strong. I thought the portrayal of Jesse Stone was well done. There were some elements of believability that were lacking. For one thing, for a small resort town, there is a hell of a lot of crime going on. It's almost a bit much. The other thing that I didn't care for was that the story lines were wrapped up a little too cleanly, and there was too much of a redemption theme going on. Overall, I did enjoy the novel as a light, fun read.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street