Title: Robert B Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet (Jessie Stone #16) by Reed Farrel Coleman
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: To be published September 12, 2017
Source: G. P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Robert B Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet
Oh duh! Yes, of course, THAT Jessie Stone! I did recognize that name, but not having read any of Robert B. Parker’s books, nor recognizing the name of this author, Reed Farrel Coleman (sorry, Mr. Coleman!), I just didn’t connect the two until I went looking for a reason that Mr. Coleman was writing Parker’s books. This release will constitute his fourth Robert B. Parker Jessie Stone series, which he began writing in 2014. (Mr. Parker passed away January, 2010.)
Tom Selleck, as always, recreates a masterful Jesse Stone in the CBS adaptation of the first movie special in 2005. According to Wikipedia, the author, Robert B. Parker, said that he found the Jesse Stone movies the most accurate television adaptations of his novels. On his blog, he wrote that “Tom nails the character”.
So, I wouldn’t know how well (or not) Mr. Coleman continued the soul or spirit of the original Jessie Stone series. I can, however, review The Hangman’s Sonnet as a standalone book, and found that surprisingly, it held up very well in view of the fact that this is a number of units into the series and with this writer.
Obviously, all the characters have had some history and I always love it when there is an obvious respect, albeit personality-driven camaraderie dialogue between major characters, especially the protagonist. I really liked the character of Officer Molly Crane. In this episode, the protagonist, Paradise (Massachusetts) Police Chief Jessie Stone, is still hell bent on punishing himself for the death of his fiancé, Diana, by a nutso assassin. He does so with booze–lots of it–and no matter how much he drinks, still can’t drown the memory. His closest friends have been covering for him–something that may be getting old–and how long can that go on any way?
In this well developed and complicated plot, Jesse is facing the wedding of his protégé, Suit. About the same time, he is called into the suspicious death of a local matriarch and the announcement of a 75th birthday party for Terry Jester, a Bob Dylan big-name equal. There is an important A-Lister media attendance expected–major good stuff for the town and the mayor is all over it. It is Jester’s final album, “The Hangman’s Sonnet,” missing since the master was recorded, that may surface–creating a media frenzy. But…no pressure…
Connected to the death of the matriarch, it appears he now has a homicide connected to the robbery from the old lady’s house. The plot gets more complicated as he gets closer to the original album master. Stone has lots of friends or contacts in high and low places on which he can call for information and though he seems to be plowing sludge, manages to pull together the whodunit.
While you might expect that some of the whizbang of the original series might have been lost, I can’t see where this might be less than the original author might have penned, given the interest and popularity. And the book definitely awakens interest into the others of the series.
It is fast moving and keeps involving new characters while fleshing out the old. Stone continues to whittle away at the conundrum–the payoff of a possible previously unreleased 40+ year old tape of a master musician and his big name accompanists, guest vocalists, and technicians. (Interesting peek into the music industry.) While it is noted there is no loyalty among thieves, it would appear to be the same in the cut-throat music industry.
The wrap-up pulled in most of the loose ends, although where Coleman is leaving Stone, we can well imagine he is already working on Stone’s healthy return (hint, hint, wink, wink). And just look at the cover! Bravo! Talk about conveying the genre and plot in a single picture!
I received this ebook download from G. P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley in return for a read and review and greatly appreciated the opportunity. Recommended read for any Robert B. Parker fan of the Jesse Stone series and author Reed Farrel Coleman for mystery, thriller, police procedurals, and suspense novels. Fun, fast book.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point five of Five Stars
The Author: Reed Farrel Coleman, Brooklyn born and raised was encouraged by teachers, friends, and family. Reed is the author of novels besides the Robert B. Park’s Jesse Stone series, short stories, and poetry. He is a three-time Edgar Award nominee. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards. As a former executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America, Reed is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University. He now lives with his family, including cats Cleo and Knish, in Suffolk County on Long Island. Reed Farrel Coleman, aka Tony Spinosa, a pseudonym. ©2017 Virginia Williams