Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice by Michael Brandman

Ironically, I was initially fooled by this novel, Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice. At first glance, it would appear that the novel is written by author Robert B. Parker. As someone who had never previously read any of Parker's novels or followed the author himself, I had no idea that Parker passed away in 2010. Upon further inspection, I realized that the novel was, in fact, a continuation of his popular Jesse Stone series, written by Michael Brandman. Of course, other characters by late authors, such as Sidney Sheldon and Dick Francis, have continued to appear in new novels, to middling results, so I knew that Fool Me Twice would be hit or miss. Michael Brandman, however, is no stranger to the Jesse Stone Character. In fact, he worked closely with Robert B. Parker as he produced the CBS film versions of the novels. This familiarity and respect seems to allow Brandman to successfully continue the series.

Jesse Stone is the police chief of the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts. As summer approaches, so does the town's excitement for the production of a new Hollywood film to be shot in the city. Of course, with a production of this size comes a variety of challenges. Jesse learns that the star of the film is going through a nasty divorce and her ex-husband has threatened her life. The Mayor tasks Jesse with keeping the production secure and making sure the duration of the filming runs smoothly.

Additionally, Jesse must continue to handle local issues. At the start of the novel, he arrests a teenage girl who's cell phone usage caused a head on collision with another driver. But the accident is not as cut and dry as it seems. It turns out that the young woman is the daughter of a local business man who contributes heavily to the judges and DA of the town. Jesse is forced to battle his own morals against direct orders from his superiors.

Finally, another local case is also drawing Jesse's attention. He receives a call from a local busy-body townswoman who has noticed her water utility rates rise despite no increase in usage or rate hikes. He brushes this off as a woman looking for attention until he receives another call from a concerned citizen. He begins to casually investigate this increase, not expecting to find much. What he discovers, however, is a scandal that could potentially rock the small town of Paradise.

As with the T.V. movies that I've seen featuring Jesse Stone, Fool Me Twice is a light, entertaining read. The story itself is fairly predictable, but it is the quick wit and genuine good will of Jesse Stone that elevates this novel and keeps the plot moving. Having never read any of the previous novels by Parker, I can't attest to the continuation of the character by Michael Brandman. I can however say that this was a quick read that kept me entertained for a couple of hours. The characters, including Stone, are never allowed to reveal emotions beyond the typically expected surface, but they do play nicely into this light mystery novel.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.

(2013: week 22, book 21)

This entry was posted on Monday, May 27, 2013 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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