Friday, October 5, 2012

Short and Sweet Review: Fool Me Twice by Robert B. Parker...sorta

Just as with the sad demise of Dick Francis, I grieved not only the loss of a great literary talent,  Robert B. Parker, but the loss of the stories he might have written. But also, as with Dick Francis, someone came along to pick up the gauntlet and carry on. And I'm thrilled he did!

Over the years I've read just about every Spenser novel Parker produced-and that's a considerable amount! Oh yes, that includes those oldies but goodies with bell bottoms and afros! But Spenser, Hawk and Susan are memorable characters and I hope to read the newest installment, The Ranger, written by Ace Atkins, very soon.

First, however, I dove into Michael Brandman's latest take on Parker's Jesse Stone series. Now, to be honest, this is not a series I'd ever read. I'd only seen it on TV via the movies with Tom Selleck. But Selleck co-produced those with Brandman, who also wrote several of the screenplays. It only figured that he'd be the guy to pick up where Parker left off.

A little research has led me to believe that the time lines in the books vs. the movies differ, and I'm finding it odd that Jesse has a cat in the book and a Golden Retriever in the movies. He never seemed like a cat guy to me, though I wished he'd petted that dog more often!

So, let's cut to the chase-did I enjoy Fool Me Twice? A resounding YES! Did Brandman channel Parker well? Pretty close...though I agree with some reviewers that his version is a little more on the soft side, but he's got the staccato dialogue down!

The plot is actually three stories that don't really interconnect, but that's okay. Jesse is the Chief of Police in the small Massachusetts town of Paradise and, as such, it makes sense he's juggling more than one case. So the reader, along with Jesse, tracks the killer of an actress who was starring in a locally filmed Hollywood production, while sorting out fraud at the local water department, while taking a personal interest that intervenes in the wayward path a young local girl's life has taken. All local, all in Chief Stone's sights, and all undertaken in the way only Parker-and now Brandman can write it.

Pretty well done, after all. I still grieve the loss of the master of this sub-genre, but the apprentice lives.

(photo courtesy of Amazon)

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