Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Review of "Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay," by Reed Farrel Coleman

Review of

Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay, by Reed Farrel Coleman ISBN 9780399171437

Five out of five stars

 This is one of the best novels in the Jesse Stone series, Coleman truly captures the style and rhythm of Parker in this book. It features the return of the contract killer Mr. Peepers and he is on a mission of revenge for being wounded by Suitcase (Suit) Simpson. The fact that he shot and nearly killed Suit is of no consequence to him. The killer has been given that name because he looks like the actor Wally Cox whose first major role was the television character Mr. Peepers. He hates that name and will kill anyone who uses it.

 The killer also seeks revenge against everyone that aided in the process that got him shot, including the mobster Gino Fish. He begins the process by attacking Fish and his receptionist, this gets Vinnie Morris involved. When Jesse talks with Morris, he learns that Morris is afraid of Mr. Peepers, for he is known for killing via slow and brutal torture.

 Jenn is scheduled to be married to a very wealthy man in Texas and they invite Jesse and his girlfriend Diane to the wedding. Diane is a former FBI field agent and tough as nails. When Jesse concludes that Mr. Peepers is targeting Jenn, he informs the groom and starts interacting with the groom’s security apparatus. They are some very tough and efficient individuals, confident that they can handle even Mr. Peepers.

 The action is powerful, and misdirection abounds, Mr. Peepers is one of the most formidable villains to ever appear in print. He is so good at what he does that he would make a credible and challenging bond villain. The best way to describe the ending is a quote from the Star Trek movie, “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” When the old Spock is asked if they were able to defeat Khan Singh he replies, “Yes, but at great cost.”

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