Steve's Reviews > Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues

Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues by Michael Brandman
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's review
Feb 25, 2012

liked it
Read in February, 2012

I've read all the Jesse Stone novels and have seen all the TV movies. I had little difficulty in separating the two in the past. Jesse Stone in the novels was still the younger Jesse Stone even after
the Tom Selleck TV movies. In Killing the Blues however, the image of Tom Selleck immediately came to
mind from page 1. It was Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone who was saying the words. I really can't explain it. That's fine with me, it was just a different reading experience. I didn't expect
Brandman to channel Robert B. Parker from the other side although he obviously was trying to imitate
Parker's style; often it seemed like Brandman was trying a bit too hard. There were a few speed
bumps in my reading which may be nit-picky, but here they are. I don't recall Molly being so
cantankerous. Sure, there was always some light bickering but the dialog seemed too vitriolic in the
first quarter of the book. Then there were two passages that had me stop and thinking 'that's just wrong'. There are no real spoilers following, just references to minor passages that caused me to stop
and wonder. The first was when Molly asked Jesse if she needed a representative from Internal Affairs.
Huh? I got the impression that Brandman didn't understand Internal Affairs departments in police
departments (as if the small Paradise P.D. even had an I.A. dept!). Should Molly have been asking for
a police union representative? That's what I was thinking as the scene was playing out. Maybe I
misunderstood Molly's (Brandman's) point. The second bump in the road was when Jesse was
talking to the Assistant D.A. about possibly "bringing charges" against a character. "You think she
broke the law?", said the Asst. D.A. "'That's a lawyer question, not a policeman question', Jesse said." Well, not really. It definitely is a policeman question as well as a lawyer question. It's a
policeman's responsibility to understand the law, recognize law breakers and take action. If he's
unsure then it is a question for lawyers. The problem is, Jesse never really asked the Asst. D.A.
Perhaps he was holding off and would bring the facts to the Asst. D.A. when he made up his mind. I
realize this was a passage where the author could throw in one of Jesse's usual lines, like "That's a shrink question" or "I'm the police chief, I know everything" but this time it rang hollow.

Upon reflection after a couple of weeks, only the negative parts that stretched logic and characters
stuck in my mind. Obviously they had more of an impact than I originally thought so I'm sticking with
a 3 star rating.


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