Sunday, September 4, 2022

Review of "Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill," by Reed Farrel Coleman

 Review of

Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill, by Reed Farrel Coleman, ISBN 9780399574979

Five out of five stars

Boston drug crime enters Paradise

  It is a few months after an adult son that Jesse did not know he had appeared with a great deal of anger against Jesse bottled up inside. His name is Cole and things have calmed down between them. Unfortunately, that is not the case at the local high school. A beautiful and popular cheerleader has died of a heroin overdose, and it seems clear very quickly that it is a warning sign rather than an outlier.

 As Jesse and his force investigate, they discover that there is an undercurrent of drug use at the high school. In most cases, it starts with a serious injury where pain medication is appropriate. However, due to unscrupulous actors in many areas, not all of which are in organized crime, the people have become addicts. The crime figures are ruthless in their operations, any form of real or apparent betrayal leads to being killed.

 Jesse follows the leads where they go, sometimes stepping on toes, and as is the case in the Jesse Stone novels he utilizes his contacts in organized crime. In this case, since Gino Fish is dead, his source is Vinnie Morris. There is also an underlying instance of domestic violence that is peripheral to the main story about the scourge of opioid drugs.

 The story has several threads other than the main one of the drug ring. There is Jesse’s relationship with Cole, Jesse’s relationship with a teacher at the high school, his relationship with alcohol, and the ongoing interactions with other people in Paradise. The dialog between Jesse, Suit and Molly is as snappy and toned as ever.

 This story is one that does justice to the Parker legacy in the continuation of Jesse Stone. One of the most flawed characters in fictional law enforcement, Jesse is tough and efficient, yet extremely vulnerable to one liquid substance. He uses that flaw in his dealings with drug addicts, for he finds it easy to understand their struggles.

No comments:

Post a Comment