Robert. B. Parker’s Debt To Pay Reviewed

Robert. B. Parker’s Debt To Pay
Reed Farrel Coleman
Sept 13th, 2016
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Robert. B. Parker’s Debt To Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman ingeniously creates a cat and mouse story. In bringing back the serial killer, assassin, and terrorist Mr. Peepers the plot reveals more of Police Chief Jesse Stone’s personality, as he must chase down his nemesis while saving those he loves.

Two books ago, The Devil Wins, Jesse struggled to capture Mr. Peepers who eventually escaped. Now, after a major crime boss is murdered, Jesse suspects it’s the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has threatened to avenge Jesse’s broken promise by targeting those close to the Chief. Figuring that the allusive sadistic serial killer will strike at his ex-wife Jenn’s wedding Jesse and Diana agree to travel to Dallas to be a part of the wedding, and to hopefully stop Peepers. Jesse and Diana, the former FBI agent who has turned private security consultant, hope to put closure to his relationship with his ex-wife as they also covertly try to protect her from the psychological and physical torture of Peepers. As he tries to find Peepers Jesse wonders is the killer going after Jenn, Diana, deputy Molly, or deputy Suitcase Simpson?

What is intriguing is how Coleman shows the differences in personality between Diana and Jen. Diana seems to appear to be more of Jesse’s soul mate who is very independent, smart, good at her job, and comfortable in her own skin. Compared to Jenn who is manipulative, wussy, dependent, and clingy. Both women have Jesse’s devotion, but with Diana he feels he has found an equal.

The underlying theme has something readers can relate to: be careful how you react to people because that can have dire consequences. How many times has someone been offended by a person’s actions whether being cussed out, cut-off by a car, or someone just being downright uncaring.

Debt To Pay does not have a dull scene. It is action-packed, tension filled, and riveting. Because Coleman has such well-developed characters people will find Peepers creepy, Jesse as the knight in shining armor, Jenn as the damsel in distress, and Diana as the self assured partner to Jesse both personally and professionally.

Elise Cooper