Monday, May 24, 2021

Review of "Robert B. Parker’s Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel," by Michael Brandman

 Review of

Robert B. Parker’s Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel, by Michael Brandman ISBN 9780399159497

Five out of five stars

The Parker brand lives on in good form

 While no one can truly match the Parker style in the creation of dialog in his main characters, Brandman comes very close to recreating the classic Jesse Stone. In this case, there are several threads running through this story. The main one is about a movie being produced in Paradise, with the female lead being stalked by her also ran actor husband. It is a major production, so Paradise is close to being overwhelmed by all the production people.

 One of the secondary plots involves discrepancies in water bills, where some citizens complain to Jesse that even though their usage has remained constant, their bills have gone way up. There has also been no official notification of a rate hike. The third plot involves the privileged daughter of wealthy parents that thinks the rules do not apply to her. The book opens with her on her phone, not stopping at an intersection and ramming another car, causing serious injuries to the driver.

 The three plots are handled very well, even when there seems to be no reason why they all have to be included. In many ways it seems that the writer wanted to maintain the backdrop of a small town, even though there is now a major Hollywood production that is making Paradise famous.

 Brandman recreates Jesse in his finest mode, the drinking is down, and it appears that Jenn is finally gone from his life. Jesse is able to establish a relationship with a woman without the specter of Jenn as a mystical backdrop. That significantly improves the story.

 This is a quick and satisfying read, one that I stayed up late to complete. Well worth the next morning grogginess.

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