Robert B. Parker's Colorblind
by Coleman, Reed Farrel

A series of hate crimes entangles Jesse Stone in a plot of unexpected proportions at the same time a mysterious, vengeance-drivien young man becomes his unlikely protégé. By the best-selling author of The Hangman's Sonnet. Simultaneous.

Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone is out of rehab. His drinking went over the edge following the brutal murder of his fiancée. Now it's a shaky return to the job, bolstered by a 12-step program. Paradise, once a relatively sleepy resort town, seems now to be a petri dish for virulent racism. A young woman, half of a biracial couple, is viciously attacked. A cross is burned in front of Jesse's old house, now occupied by another dual-ethnicity couple. Alisha, a young African American woman on the Paradise force, is off-duty when challenged by a biker gang. A few days later she's baited into shooting an unarmed white man who just happens to be the son of a local neo-Nazi with visions of a national profile. The state police investigating the shooting have all but convicted Alisha. Jesse is not convinced and develops an alternative theory for the shooting. Coleman's take on Parker's Jesse Stone is a work in progress, as it should be with any series character. He's slowly extricating Stone from his demons without minimizing them. Jesse is in good hands. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Swearing that he's taken his last drink, alcoholic Paradise police chief Jesse Stone returns from the two months in rehab that followed his traumatic last case (Robert B. Parker's The Hangman's Sonnet, 2017) to battle a white supremacist and investigate an assault that looks uncomfortably familiar. The festivities welcoming Jesse back range from the wary greetings of Officer Molly Crane, who never wanted to serve as acting chief, to the skulking of Cole Slayton, whose gallons of attitude make no secret of why he's been tossed in jail as drunk and disorderly. But Jesse's most immediate problem concerns African-American Harvard doctoral student Felicity Wileford, who's been beaten and raped in an assault that looks sadly reminiscent of Jesse's first murder case in Paradise nearly 20 years ago. The burning of a cross outside Jesse's old house, now home to Boston physician Ron Patel and his blonde wife, Liza, makes Jesse wonder if someone isn't specifically targeting interracial couples for harassment—a suspicion that's intensified by the appearance of a bunch of leaflets from a white supremacist group calling itself the Saviors of Society (the SS for short, in case you miss the point). Jesse and his department quickly lean on witnesses who might be more than witnesses, but Leon Oskar Vandercamp, the self-styled Colonel behind the SS, is equally efficient about getting a long-unidentified soldier who works for him to tie up every loose end with extreme prejudice. The plot thickens when Alisha Davis, the first African-American woman on Jesse's police force, is lured into pursuing a fleeing suspect into a blind alley from which she emerges accused by the authorities of an unjustified shooting and by the Colonel and his creatures of inciting the very same racial hatred that's clearly been directed against her. "Never thought we'd get this kind of thing come into Paradise," sagely opines a regular who's somehow missed the previous 16 installments. Coleman sounds nothing like Robert B. Parker, but if you can accept a truly far-fetched premise, this will keep franchise fans more than satisfied. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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