Debt To Pay
Review: Nothing much happens in Paradise, Massachusetts, where Jesse Stone is the Chief of Police. There are the speeders, stop sign runners, simple accidents leaving dents in fenders, vandalism, but nothing too series. But a murder and suicide in Boston catches his attention, in Debt To Pay, the fifteen mystery in this series begun by the late Robert B. Parker and the third to be written by Reed Farrel Coleman.
Crime boss Gino Fish and his receptionist/lover Drew Kaiser have been found dead. It looks like Gino murdered Drew and then killed himself. Jesse finds the circumstances suspicious. He had been indebted to Gino for his help in finding a contract killer, Mr. Peepers, who nearly killed his deputy "Suitcase Simpson", but Mr. Peepers escaped with a nasty bullet wound to his shoulder when he was shot by Suit. Mr. Peepers has sworn his revenge on the mob and Jesse and anybody Jesse cared about, including Jenn, Jesse's ex-wife, Suit, Molly Crane (an officer Mr. Peepers just doesn't like) and now Jesse's new girlfriend, ex-FBI agent Diana Evans. Mr. Peepers is a much feared sadistic assassin. Jenn is now in Dallas and planning her marriage to a wealthy businessman, Hal Hunsicker. Jesse and Diana have been invited to the wedding. Mr. Peepers has knowledge of these plans and informed Jesse that he will bring blood to someone there or maybe in Paradise. Jesse flies back and forth between Massachusetts and Texas trying to guess and outsmart Mr. Peeper's next move.
The transition of this series from Parker to Michael Brandman (for three books) and now to Coleman has been a relatively smooth one, the same in many ways yet different in subtle ones. And, to be sure, it would be hard to go wrong with this incredible cast of characters. Each one is well-drawn and engaging, even Mr. Peepers — who hates to be called that — in a despicable sort of way. The storyline, however, is lacking. It's hard to say exactly what is missing, but it doesn't serve the characters very well and, quite frankly, it isn't all that interesting. There's Jesse Stone being Jesse Stone and Suit being Suit and so on and so on, but really not much more. The familiarity of the characters may bring readers in, but it's a compelling plot that keeps them there. This series is definitely worth following, and hopefully the next will be better, but on balance Debt To Pay doesn't compare all that favorably with the previous entries.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Debt To Pay.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Debt To Pay for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Devil Wins
Putnam (Hardcover), September 2015
ISBN-13: 9780399169465; ISBN-10: 0399169466
Location(s) referenced in Debt To Pay: Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas
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Debt To Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman — A Jesse Stone Mystery
Publication Date: September 2016
List Price: $27.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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