Robert B. Parker’s BLIND SPOT by Reed Farrel Coleman

Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot

Reed F. Coleman
Putnam
September 9th, 2014

Blind Spot, a Robert B. Parker novel, currently written by Reed Farrel Coleman is a spell binding mystery. Coleman, who has been commissioned for the next three novels, after Parker’s death in 2010, is now authoring the Jesse Stone series. Having never read Parker it is impossible to comment on how much Blind Spot followed Parker’s works. However, this latest novel is very fast-paced, exciting, interesting, and can stand on its own merits.

 

With many of the top-notch mystery/thriller authors having passed away, the recent trend is to hire replacement authors. For fans of Flynn, Clancy, and Parker these new installments allow for the characters to continue to live on in the fictional world. Having set the bar high with great character development writers like Coleman successfully faced the challenge. He skillfully keeps to what Parker was known for, his format of short chapters, character’s personality, and snappy banter among the characters.

 

Jesse Stone, the Police Chief of a small town in Massachusetts, is considered a very complicated figure with the over riding theme of regret affecting his life. This includes being one step away from becoming the starting shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers to being estranged from the love of his life. Coleman also powerfully delves into Stone’s drinking problem and his struggles to not let it overtake his life.

 

Besides utilizing the characters created by Parker, Coleman introduced some of his own. Dee, the FBI agent, who matches Stone step for step is written as independent, sexy, tough, smart, and loyal. Kayla, is Jesse’s former girl friend who was also once in love with him, and is now going through a mid-life crisis as she questions past decisions in her life.

 

With the backstory on Jesse and these new characters, Coleman writes a potent crime story that has Stone personally connected to the murders. After being invited to a baseball reunion by a former minor league teammate, Vic Prado, who happens to be married to Kayla, Jesse is informed about a young girl’s murder in his small town of Paradise. Through the investigative process it becomes clear that Prado is connected to the murder. It is up to Jesse and his squadron to find the killer and bring justice to those killed.

 

Blind Spot is about payback, redemption, and regrets. Although Coleman embraced the Stone character he did not imitate Parker’s writing style. Instead, through his detailed characters and settings he brought life back into this series and into the Jesse Stone character. Fans and new comers alike will get hooked and should look forward to the next Jesse Stone book by Reed Coleman.

 

Elise Cooper