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Night Passage: A Jesse Stone Novel [Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 May 1999 A Jesse Stone Novel
The author of two dozen Spenser novels as well as numerous other works of fiction, Robert B. Parker is no stranger to either critical or popular acclaim. With his hallmark sharp wit and taut action, Parker has created in the Spenser series the standard against which all contemporary detective novels are measured, and a character considered the paragon of private eyes. In Night Passage, Parker sets the bar even higher, with the introduction of Jesse Stone, a hero cut from different cloth.

After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, the thirty-five-year-old Stone's future looks bleak. So he's shocked when a small Massachusetts town called Paradise recruits him as police chief. He can't help wondering if this job is a genuine chance to start over, the kind of offer he can't refuse.

Once on board, Jesse doesn't have to look for trouble in Paradise: it comes to him. For what is on the surface a quiet New England community quickly proves to be a crucible of political and moral corruption--replete with triple homicide, tight Boston mob ties, flamboyantly errant spouses, maddened militiamen and a psychopath-about-town who has fixed his violent sights on the new lawman. Against all this, Jesse stands utterly alone, with no one to trust; even he and the woman he's seeing are like ships that pass in the night. He finds he must test his mettle and powers of command to emerge a local hero--or the deadest of dupes.

As the flagship volume in a new series featuring a complex and engaging sleuth, Night Passage is cause for celebration.


Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press; New edition edition (10 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901982572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901982572
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fans often feel uneasy when the creator of a popular character ventures into new turf, and sometimes their trepidation is justified. But readers of Robert B. Parker's immensely popular Spenser series can breathe a sigh of relief: while Night Passage doesn't feature Spenser, his usual gang of associates or a Boston setting, it's vintage Parker--fast, witty, suspenseful and engaging.

Told in short, crisp chapters, it is the story of Jesse Stone, a 34-year-old who has just lost his Los Angeles policeman's job and his marriage because of a drinking problem. The book opens as Stone leaves California for his new job as chief of police in the picturesque town of Paradise, Massachusetts.

But Paradise isn't as placid as it seems--in fact, it's a festering mass of petty corruption, right-wing militia, sexual scandal and bad guys who favour strong-arm tactics. Night Passage boasts a delicious, classic setup: the lone lawman, new in town, must make his stand to clean up the place. Stone has been picked for the job because the town fathers figured he'd be weak and malleable; as he gradually pulls himself together, it turns out they have a surprise in store. Stone's qualities may remind you of Spenser's--he's taciturn, fearless, good-looking and compassionate--and in the end the plot's pleasing complexities are resolved a bit simply.

But Robert B. Parker is in fine form, with his smart-aleck wit under control and his prose at its economical best. Spenser fans and Parker neophytes alike will find plenty to enjoy here. And the setting is, after all, not far from Boston--dare we hope for a Spenser-Stone meeting in future books? --Laura Smith

About the Author

Robert B. Parker is the bestselling author of more than forty-one books. He lives in Boston. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
At the end of the continent, near the foot of Wilshire Boulevard, Jesse Stone stood and leaned on the railing in the darkness above the Santa Monica beach and stared at nothing, while below him the black ocean rolled away toward Japan. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying introduction of Jesse Stone 7 April 2003
Format:Hardcover
It does look like this is a good time for Robert B. Parker to come up with a new character, and judging from this first book, Jesse Stone could be a winner. He's certainly different from Spenser. While he shows some wit, he's of a darker and brooding nature, having messed up his professional and personal lives by hitting the bottle too heavily. In fact, he even goes to a job interview after drinking and surprisingly gets hired as police chief in Paradise, Mass. He figures that he was hired in spite of his condition when the truth is he was hired because of his drinking...he appeared to be far easier managed than he turned out to be.
Obviously, Parker intends to have the two series interrelate to a degree. Vinnie Morris and Gino Fish appear in the story, although interestingly, they never interrelate with Stone. Somehow, I suspect that might change in future novels.
All in all, this is indeed a promising beginning for Jesse Stone
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, RBP. 22 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was the title that introduced me to Robert B Parker about 2 years ago - not the book, but the TV film starring Tom Selleck, which I picked up for pennies somewhere. Before then I hadn't heard of him, but my enjoyment of the movie was such that I delved into Amazon and discovered more Jesse Stone, as well as Spenser and Sunny Randall. I have now read nearly all of them - the early Spensers are hard to find - and, as you can probably guess, I'm a fan. Through RBP I read Chandler and Hammett and Spillane, so I thank him for that. The film is good, but the book of 'Night Passage' is much better.
The synopsis is described elsewhere by others, but the writing has an economy and humour that is original, keeping the plotting taut. It's an easy read, I read it in a day. But to see Parker at his best, try the Spenser stories. A master at the top of his game.
Sadly, Mr Parker passed away in January, and I for one will miss his original style. Thank you, sir, for so much pleasure in reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just a little too simplistic. 27 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
So many Robert B. Parker books to choose from and I chose this as my first. I was desperate to read one of his novels on the strength of some excellent reviews I had read of "All Our Yesterdays" (which I have still been unable to find incidentally).
In short, this has a very simple plot which revolves around a cop cleaning up a town comprised of a couple of bad guys. The chapters in the book extend to a mighty 4 pages or so and this perhaps best reflects the fact that we aren't going to get into complex plot development or the deep and meaningful here!
I'll still hunt for "All Our Yesterdays" in the hope that "Night Passage" was an exception, but it will take quite a bit more to make me a Parker convert.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to teach a new hero old tricks 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Let's assume you've never heard of Rober B Parker before. Let's start with the bare bones of a plot. Can the hero redeem himself, after failure in his career as a lawman through drink, by going to a small town where corruption is all around and where he's expected to fail again. He's a troubled man who finds help in unexpected quarters. It all sounds like the plot of a western, one of those horse operas which contracted stars could churn out in their sleep. Except it's not. It's a cross between the usual Parker reflection on how hard it is to be an honourable man and a downbeat police procedural. What's missing is any sense of struggle within the leading character. Read this, enjoy it, like I did, then maybe pick up one of John Harvey's Resnick novels, or something by Ian Rankin, and you'll wonder whether Parker isn't a little on cruise control. Still, Spenser fans do get to play the who have we heard of before game when minor characters from spenser novels start popping up here and there, and, if you hadn't ever heard of Parker, you'd mark this down as a good first attempt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Jesse Stone! 26 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback
It does look like this is a good time for Robert B. Parker to come up with a new character, and judging from this first book, Jesse Stone could be a winner. He's certainly different from Spenser. While he shows some wit, he's of a darker and brooding nature, having messed up his professional and personal lives by hitting the bottle too heavily. In fact, he even goes to a job interview after drinking and surprisingly gets hired as police chief in Paradise, Mass. He figures that he was hired in spite of his condition when the truth is he was hired because of his drinking...he appeared to be far easier managed than he turned out to be.
Obviously, Parker intends to have the two series interrelate to a degree. Vinnie Morris and Gino Fish appear in the story, although interestingly, they never interrelate with Stone. Somehow, I suspect that might change in future novels.
Like the Spenser novels, this is a fast and easy read. It's not quite as much a fun read maybe, but what the hey, it's good and satisfying light reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Selleck 30 Oct 2013
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having caught the tv movie, I really enjoyed this first instalment of the series. As a straightforward police procedural, it works well. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 30 Aug 2013
By C.F.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyable read. Great characters and a nice pace to the story. So good I have had to get the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as earlier comments 25 July 2013
By RVG
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I find the jesse stone books really excellent , a little jarring with some of the American spelling but ,so what its an americn author!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gets no better than this
Jesse Stone, gets no better than this.
Published 2 days ago by DAVID HOCKEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Different to but a nice compliment to the TV series.
Proofing is ok to good on the kindle.

I caught this in it's televised version with Tom Sellick(?) as Jesse Stone. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Combat Wombat
4.0 out of 5 stars other worldly
Quirky humour no gratuitous violence or foul language .good cameos of characters and situations .scenarios however outlandish still surprisingly believable in the world that the... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item
Published 26 days ago by J. Westwood
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Jesse Stone novel asalways
Jesse Stone adventure / suspense / detection as you would expect with the usual familiar characters
Published 1 month ago by tcmum
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it
Another Jesse Stone mystery, a great read
Published 1 month ago by towngirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I loved this book and after watching the TV series could imagine Tom Selleck saying all of the dialogue. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lulubelle80
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased.
Published 1 month ago by Annette Elizabeth Sharko
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 1 month ago by Fleetchief
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Really enjoyed this book,good beginning to the series.looking forward to reading the rest of the books although I just keep thinking of Tom Affleck as Jesse.
Published 1 month ago by Fugie
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