Tag Archives: Rober B. Parker

Stranger In Paradise – Robert B Parker

Stranger In Paradise – Putnam publishing February 2008, 304 pages, crime novel by Robert B. Parker, the seventh in his Jesse Stone series.

Gang-bangers, mobsters and gunmen oh my! Welcome to Paradise. Crow has arrived. The last time he was in Paradise was ten years ago and any crimes he may have committed back then have reached their statute of limitation. He’s back, and looking for a girl… a mobster’s daughter. Seems the dad wants his little girl back with him in Florida and has commissioned Crow to accomplish this task.

The daughter happens to be seeing something of a local gang leader. After an altercation or two in a rough little town just outside of Paradise where the gang calls home, Crow has his flighty juvenile. Having contacted his employer for instructions, the boss wants his ex-wife rubbed out. At this point we see Crow’s core values, and it seems murdering helpless, alcoholic ex-wives is not part of his warrior ethics.

By not acquiescing to the boss’s wishes a hit-team is dispatched from Florida with Crow as their target. The daughter is taken to Chief Stone who takes her in while Crow deals with the gunmen. As it would seem, killing armed gunmen is within his warrior ethics.

Eventually with a gang on the loose chasing him and the remaining gunmen hunting him, Crow agrees to hand over the girl to her father, but not without some late minute fireworks. A bend in the road by the sea with a nice wall and setting sun to shield them a handoff is proposed, to one group of trigger happy gunmen, the other group of trigger happy sociopaths don’t know about this arrangement… Will this hand off work, is it some sort of ploy, is Jessie going to watch as this goes down?

And what is it about Crow that reminds me of another bird man Parker has written so enigmatically?

“I wish to speak with my attorney,” he sad without inflection.
Jessie nodded. Everyone was quiet. The only sounds were the movement of the ocean, and the sound of the rain falling, under the low, gray sky.
There is no quiet like the one that follows gunfire.

Robert B Parker’s Backjack – Robert Knox

Backjack This is Knox’s third novel continuing the tales of the old west’s Marshalls Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Now I haven’t read any westerns since I’ve been in school many moons ago, but I do love the Spenser and Jessie Stone novels. So, I figured I would try this book simply because it quite literally fell into my lap while I was looking for something else in the library. So, I considered it providence and checked it out.

The writing is very straight-forward, loose, and easy to digest. The scenes are written with clear imagery and I do get the ‘feel’ of the old west. The story lays itself out in a good pace. Boston Bill is in town connected with the construction of a new casino in the quick-growing town of Appaloosa. He’s accompanied by a couple of hired hands to serve as bodyguards… seems Bill has left some trouble behind in Denver, but persons connected with that pursue him to Appaloosa.

It does not end well for the pursuer. This brings men of the Denver constabulary for Boston Bill. Light of foot and swift of steed, Bill and associates flee with our marshals in pursuit. Both trouble and violence ensues. Then the capture and subsequent trial of Boston Bill.

But wait! There’s more. Bill wrangles free of justice’s tentative grip only to be chased again, and caught again. But what we find in the chapter just before the final chapter, crashing in from dead left field… the solution to the ‘trouble’ in Denver.

There have been other Parker novels where the ending came right up out of nowhere, but few so abruptly, and this ending may not have come from the heart of nowhere, it was probably near nowhere’s spleen. But it has not deterred me, but rather encouraged me to order the first in the Cole / Hitch novel Appaloosa from amazon… just to see how Parker writes these men.
In closing, a quote from Boston Bill himself…

“Before,” he said, “I met this beautiful woman, I never knew any one brighter, smarter, or kinder … but then there was always … I don’t know, something unusual. There were glimpses of someone other than her, within her, someone other than the bright, smart, and kind woman I got to know and love. I never was certain why I moved away from her but I knew there was something …”