Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Robert B. Parker's Colorblind by Reed Farrel Coleman

First Sentence:  She thought she might pass out from the ache in the side or that her heart might explode in her chest as she ran barefoot along the dunes.
      
Police Chief Jesse Stone is back at his job after spending two months in rehab for alcoholism and is called to a neighboring town by the state's chief homicide investigator, Captain Brian Lundquist, to help with a murder investigation.  Officer Drake Daniels made an association between the condition of a current victim and a murder that was Jessie's first case in Paradise.  The so-called "Saviors of Society" have set up shop and are targeting interracial couples.  Do they have a bigger plan?  And who is the troubled young man with the huge chip on his shoulder?
      
Could the themes of a book be any more relevant?  It's a painful first chapter, but it sets the stage.
      
Although this book is well into the series, Coleman does a very good job of fleshing out the characters, particularly Jesse, so that new readers don't feel lost.  There is a real sense of who he is, what he has been through, and for what he stands.  The definition of police work is nicely done—"Cops rode the wave or followed the wave onto the beach.  It wasn't their job to get ahead of it.  Cops were really like the guys who followed the parade with brooms and shovels, cleaning up the mess the horses and the spectators left behind." 
      
Coleman's reference to Shakespeare and the Old Testament can make one smile. The interesting observation that—"Some forms of evil don't just appear in your house.  They have to be invited in."—is an interesting subject for debate.  One should never underestimate the determination of evil. 
      
The portrayal of Jessi's struggle with sobriety is very well done.  As anyone who has ever been down that road, or been close to someone who has, it is such a difficult path of constant temptation, and the inner devil is loud. In contrast to this is food; not fancy food, but good food and how to prepare it, such as an omelet with onion and sausage.  Such scenes help defuse the tension and add just the right touch of normalcy.
      
The story is filled with interesting characters who come to life from the page.  Some have been part of the series for a long time, such as Molly and Healy, while some, such as Alisha, who are more recent.  They give substance and depth to the story.  As for the antagonists, they, too, are well done and very effective.  One may not wish to believe such people exist, but one knows they do.
      
Following Jesse, as he starts to put the pieces together is filled with excitement.  The tension increases nicely as the pieces fall into place and build to a nail-biting conclusion.  The story is told in short chapters and very fast moving.
      
"Robert B. Parker's Colorblind" deals with issues that are timely wrapped within a very exciting police procedural.  The development in Jesse's life is a lovely touch. 

 ROBERT B. PARKER'S COLORBLIND (PolProc-Jesse Stone-Paradise, MA-contemp) - VG
      Coleman, Reed Farrel – 17th in series
      Putnam – Sept 2018

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I like the Jesse Stone character, and it's good to know you felt that the novel did justice to it.

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