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The Salters still owned the place, but these days most of them split their time between Boston and the Vineyard. I’ll protect you.”“Mmm,” she said and stepped closer to him.Mostly it just sat up there on the bluff and reminded Paradise of a faded past. “I just bet you will.”She angled her head up to his and planted her lips on Ben’s.He turned to face the two nude college freshmen, pointing the tip of the suppressor at them.Martina wanted to scream, but her fear swallowed it up. He didn’t feel it, not even when he bled.“Look, mister, my parents have a lot of money,” Ben said, his voice cracking. Here she was for him, undressed and vulnerable.“Don’t even think about touching her,” Ben warned.Jesse’s tug-of-war with booze no longer held any romance for him, nor anyone else. He remembered he was a cop, the top cop in a town fifteen miles outside of Boston. As Victorian houses went, it was more reserved than most, smaller than the sprawling manses that dotted cities and towns throughout New England and points south. No gazebo, no wraparound porch, no whimsical paint job, no whimsy at all.It stood solid and restrained as Harlan Salter, the dry-goods magnate who had commissioned it in 1888.But when a young woman is found murdered in Paradise, and her boyfriend, a son of one of the town’s most prominent families, is kidnapped, Jesse’s investigation yields some troubling suspicions: the reunion and the murder are connected, and one of Jesse’s old friends is intimately involved in the crimes. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring Chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. There were storm clouds over Paradise as Jesse Stone looked out at the Atlantic and remembered his last night in L. What Jesse thought was that water color in sunlight was beside the point. He understood that a lot of people, maybe most, believed the ocean symbolized endless possibility, better days, bright futures. You can gaze at the road ahead of you all you want, but your future is in your rearview mirror.“Jesse . The place had been up and running for only two months and Dan had discovered why it was easier to want to own a restaurant than to actually own one.Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction. Reed Farrel Coleman, called “a hard-boiled poet” by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan, is the Edgar-nominated author of eighteen novels and three novellas, including the critically acclaimed Moe Prager series. He wanted to know if Jesse could talk to the health inspector.
She had that sun-streaked blond hair other girls spent hundreds to imitate but could never quite pull off. As it was, the brass doorknob had made an oval dent in the plaster and lath.“They’ll pay you anything you want.”The gunman shook his head. This time his voice was strong and steady.“She’s not as good as you’d think,” he said, because he couldn’t think of what else to say.“She—”The gunman stifled a little laugh and put his left index finger across his lips to shush the boy. The gunman waved the tip of the suppressor at Ben, gesturing him away from Martina.As Jesse drove back home through the streets of Paradise, he tried to recall exactly what he had said to the restaurant owner. That’s how distracted he was by what lay ahead of him over the next few days. He was no longer paying much mind to the rain or the streets.The scotch hadn’t helped with his memory and this reunion hadn’t helped with the scotch. When he realized his words to Dan Castro were lost to him, Jesse shrugged and moved on. The rain came in a light spray not even heavy enough for Jesse to use the wipers. He had settled into the rhythms of town life, but thought that only someone who didn’t know him would describe Paradise as his adopted hometown. Distracted again, Jesse Stone was caught in a rundown between his past and New York City.2The Salters’ place was a red brick Victorian nestled on an ocean bluff just north of the yacht club.