Thursday, March 12, 2009
This is not a great book, but still it makes you think.
It is the story of a whole bunch of people who won't give up their own destructive behaviors. In some ways, the only whole and sane major character in the book is Molly. Aside from being Jesse Stone's deputy, she is happily married and she has it all together. Most of the others in the story don't have it all together, including Jesse.
But I guess that's the way it is with a lot of Robert Parker's mystery novels.
To me, Parker is like popcorn. I like him a lot, but sometimes he doesn't fill me up. His terse style has become an almost-parody of itself.
I remember how much I loved the early Spenser novels. The people seemed real and the relationships worth caring about. There is still some of that here, but not as much. This is the story of a peeping Tom and of the nasty sexual undercurrents of Paradise, Stone's small town. One real hero is a just-turned-teenager named Missy who has the sense to seek help when she needs it. And Jesse helps her.
In its own Parker-like way, the book has a happy ending.
If I had it to do over again, would I read this book? Of course. I love reading Parker, even the ones I don't think are quite as good as the others. And I love Jesse Stone. He has that underlying code that good Spenser heroes (even Hawk) just have to have. If he were just a bit more loquacious.
I will keep on reading Parker until either he or I pass on. May it not be soon for either of us.
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