When an author is asked to write a novel continuing a series originated by someone else, much less a master like Robert B. Parker, fundamental questions must be decided: try to imitate the style and writing, how to maintain the integrity of the characters, and the like. Alternatively, Reed Farrel Coleman, a successful author of a score of books, including the respected Moe Prager series, decided to write a novel in his own fashion while adhering to the character representations of Jesse Stone, Molly Crane and Suit Simpson.
And he achieves his purpose with a complicated story involving a Ponzi-like scheme run by an old friend, his second baseman, Vic Prado, from Jesse’s minor league days. Unlike Parker, who used sex sparingly and often as a light touch, this version relies heavily on Jesse and Vic bedding first one then another woman. There is perhaps an overabundance of Jesse’s baseball days and the injury that led to his forfeiture of a big league career, but it is an essential part of his background.
The plot begins with the kidnapping of the younger son of an owner of a mutual fund Vic is attempting to take over, and the murder of a young lady with whom he was in bed at the time of his abduction. Other violence takes place along the way as Jesse attempts to find the guilty person and put the pieces together to understand what is going on. To that end, Mr. Coleman achieves his goal, and the book is recommended.