Trouble in ParadiseRobert B. Parker
Reviewed and Researched by Lisa Shea
Trouble in Paradise is Jesse Stone's second adventure as police captain in Paradise, Massachusetts. Suddenly an island appears to have sprung out of the ocean, just past the yacht club. This island is a gated community for the wealthy, and a criminal gangster with his 'moll' want to rob the entire island. The gangster, Macklin, gathers up a team and does indeed take on the island. Jesse is the one who has to foil them.
Jesse isn't alone - his ex-wife who came out last year never ended up leaving. She took a job as weather girl and an apartment in Boston. So she's still around to cause angst and grief, and soap opera like scenes of "we can't live together - but we can't live without each other".
I really enjoyed how Stiles Island just *appeared* from the sea like Venus emerging in her shell. No mention of it in book #1 and then POOF it is the center of attention here. The gay couple seems like it was tossed in to add the traditional Spenser pro-minority flavor. I am personally very pro-minority but it seems that every Spenser (and apparently Jesse Stone) book had a situation tossed in so Spenser could bash those who were anti-gay or anti-black or whatever. They existed merely as a foil for the hero to show his worth. In this book, the teens who harassed the gays are seen laughing together at the end, and the mom is going after Jesse, and they don't even resolve it.
Once again we have Westerns-on-the-brain, with the 'bad gang coming into town' that Jesse has to hold off. First we have Macklin, the crazed ringleader with his girlfriend. Macklin breaks in on a poker game and kills the cop to run off with the cash - then gives it to the waitress. Would he really have left her alive to identify him?
Jesse jumps in bed with the real estate agent, Marcy. He enjoys picking on the people at the dance as having meaningless lives. Jeez, what a nice guy. Maybe they really LIKE to dance and this is what makes them happy. Then he stalks Jenn and even points the gun at her new guy. That's nice. Next he's talking about Rita Fiore.
The bad guys run into Tony Marcus in Buddy's Fox, along with Junior and Ty-Bop. Morris Comden tries to get Jesse to resign over the gay fire thing and Jesse of course refuses. Even Belson gets drawn into it as a cop with Macklin as his "hobby".
Finally the bad guys in essence screw themselves and Jesse just shows up to face Macklin and Crow. Crow takes off, abandoning Macklin, who Jesse is forced to shoot. Then we get an incredible scene of Jesse's two "women" talking it up together - and even more incredible tales of how Crow was "good" even though he killed pretty much everyone that was slain in this story - all because he let the few women hostages go instead of stage a shoot-out to save Macklin. What??? And then Jesse lets the moll go - even though she was prepared to kill his female cop - because she was "just a woman" and didn't know what she was doing. WHAT??? This whole ending drove me completely insane. And even worse, it ends with Jenn and Jesse having one of their interminable discussions about why they can't be together.
Traveling in Jesse's Footprints|
* Cove Liquor Store near station
* Stalking outside Jenn's apartment on Arlington Street
* Copley Place with Jenn
* Random Paradise locations
Jesse's Menu and Drinks|
* Black label and soda
* Scotch and soda, then chardonnay at Beacon st. He doesn't like wine and especially not Chardonnay, but does it for Jenn
* Black label and soda on island
* Beer at grey gull
* Irish whiskey when Jenn is in jail
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