Robert B. Parker introduces readers to police chief Jesse Stone in the first novel in the beloved mystery seriesâ€”a New York Times bestseller.
After a busted marriage kicks his drinking problem into overdrive and the LAPD unceremoniously dumps him, thirty-five-year-old Jesse Stoneâ€™s future looks bleak. So heâ€™s shocked when a small Massachusetts town called Paradise recruits him as police chief. He canâ€™t help wondering if this job is a genuine chance to start over, the kind of offer he canâ€™t refuse.
Once on board, Jesse doesnâ€™t have to look for trouble in Paradise: it comes to him. For what is on the surface a quiet New England community quickly proves to be a crucible of political and moral corruptionâ€”replete with triple homicide, tight Boston mob ties, flamboyantly errant spouses, maddened militiamen and a psychopath-about-town who has fixed his violent sights on the new lawman. Against all this, Jesse stands utterly alone, with no one to trustâ€”even he and the woman heâ€™s seeing are like ships passing in the night. He finds he must test his mettle and powers of command to emerge a local heroâ€”or the deadest of dupes.