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Night Passage

(Jesse Stone #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  9,714 ratings  ·  590 reviews
His name is Jesse Stone. He's left the LAPD in disgrace and found himself the new chief of police in Paradise, Massachusetts -- a town that's a lot less idyllic than it sounds.

This exciting departure for "the reigning champion of the American tough-guy detective novel" (Entertainment Weekly) has landed him on the New York Times bestseller list once again... and thrilled
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Jove (first published September 22nd 1997)
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Terric853 Like the Spenser series, these books make more sense when read in order. There's a lot about Jesse's background - his drinking, his former job, his…moreLike the Spenser series, these books make more sense when read in order. There's a lot about Jesse's background - his drinking, his former job, his ex-wife - that you get in the first few books. That said, if you're okay with some plot dissonance, any one of the books can be read as a stand-alone.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  9,714 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it

I never bothered to read any of the Jesse Stone novels as long as I had a new Spenser by Parker to look forward to, but now that Parker has passed on, I decided to no longer leave the first Stone unturned.

I was pleased. I like the fact that Parker chose to write about a character much different from Spenser and yet much the same. Stone is strong, upright and truthful and adheres to his own code--just like Spenser and all the other figures in the detective/knight errant tradition--but Stone is
Robert B. Parker writes a tough guy main character whose biggest flaw is his obsessive love of a woman who betrays him? Hmmmm…. I have the weirdest sense of deja vu….

By the late ‘90s RBP could, and frequently seemed to, crank out a Spenser novel in his sleep so he started doing other things like this series featuring new hero Jesse Stone. Jesse was an LAPD homicide detective who lost his job thanks to the drinking brought on when his unfaithful wife divorced him. Even though he shows up to the
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
This was a rare five start for me. I had never read this author before and I absolutely loved the pacing and characterization. Jesse Stone is a great character- a little stereotypical maybe. Cliche occasionally. But the things he thinks about and the way he handles situations are amusing and inspiring.
This was a world that I want to return to. The idea of an alcoholic LA homicide cop becoming detective in a small east coast town leaves the path open for excellent plot hooks and character
John Martin
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It kept me reading to find out what happens next, even though I knew the basic storyline well. It's been told in thousands of stories: the triumph of good over evil. It worked in westerns, it works in sci-fi, it works here with crime in a more contemporary American setting with guns and sex.
Novel writing skills have gone up a notch or two since Night Passage was written in the late 90s but what hasn't changed is being a good storyteller is #1 and good characterisation is #2
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Night Passage is an excellent, thrilling police story with a likable main character and a suspenseful plot. It's definitely a book I'd recommend.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jesse Stone, LAPD homicide detective, hit by a series of personal let downs: divorce and job termination, chooses scotch as his consolation prize. As last resort, he doggedly travels East to accept the position of police chief in a tiny, seemingly innocuous Massachusetts town named Paradise. Although downtrodden and still drinking, Jesse is 'Old School' true grit--courageous, moral and savvy.. Paradise, MA is not the quiet, coastal town, but has its own nasty secrets, actually corruption, drugs, ...more
A good solid entry in the Jesse Stone series of titles. 3.5-stars

It has the Parker-trademark familiar good pacing, interesting scene descriptions without blather, an array of supporting characters, a semi-broken-marriage stand-in for Parker and Joan, a somewhat weak if serviceable central plot, and a satisfying but predictable climax and ending.

The word “maroon” appears 4 times in this book. (Yes, definitely Parker writing here)


He wondered sometimes what he needed from her. A kind of
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: html-img, mystery
Mystery Group Read - April 2018

Mystery Group Read - April 2018 (spoilers)

September 17, 1932 – January 18, 2010

Jesse Stone (alcoholic & fired LAPD detective), Jenn(divoiced, x-wife) having affair & hired as the new police chief in the small Town of Paradise, Massachusetts.
Board of Selectman & Bank Owner, Hasty Hathaway was looking for new police chief, he could control as Lou Burke (previous chief) was becoming too involved in their money "laundering" & needed to be
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In front of me I have the Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone collection starring Tom Selleck, it's a 9 disc set. By the way, a pretty and beautifully elaborated collectors box, which I immensely do enjoy.
I had recently birthday, and so...
It was my birthday gift from my wife, Christa!!!
But, today I'm here to recommend you the first book in the Jesse Stone series.
Very enjoyable and indeed good.
Jesse Stone isn't an action hero at all, rather a flawed character that has an alcohol problem.
After his
I've seen one of these books as a movie with Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone. Seems a good fit. I'm listening to this read by Richard Masur. He has some emotion & does different voices for the characters. Might be a bit over the top, but far better than the last book I listened to where the tone of both the book & the reader was a monotone. (Cop Hater by Ed McBain read by Paul Shay. My review is here:

The story was fairly low key, but with some
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robert B Parker fans of Spencer/Sunny Randall/ Jesse Stone
Recommended to Mark by: the TV show did
This book is about the first appearance of Jesse Stone, a drunk and former homicide detective from LA. In order to escape the ruins of his divorce, job and alcoholism he applies for the job of Chief of police in Paradise Mass, on the other side of the continent. While he is still unsure why he got the job in the first place, he is gradually finding out "the why" since he started the work at Paradise. His curiosity for one is not the reason for him getting the job, the town elders preferred a ...more
Parker, Robert B. - 1st Jesse Stone

After being kicked out of the LAPD, Jesse Stone's future looks bleak, until he is given another chance as the police chief in a small New England town. However, the town turns out to be rife with homicides, maddened militiamen and crazed psychopaths.

The first of a new series from Parker. The macho-ness tempered by humor is there and it's nice to have a new character. In this, we have an ex-wife, rather than a Susan. Loved it.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great start to a new-to-me police series. Good character development. His style reminds me a bit of Tana French.
Janie Johnson
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Read this book for the TBR Takedown 3.0. I have been wanting to read this series for awhile now and hopefully I will get through most of it this year. I found this books to be pretty good. It was very fluid and easy to get through. I also found it to be very engaging.

His name is Jesse Stone.He's left the LAPD in disgrace and found himself the new chief of police in Paradise, Massachusetts -- a town that's a lot less idyllic than it sounds.

This exciting departure for "the reigning
Brad Carl
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author Robert B. Parker came highly recommended. I was told that my writing reminded them of Parker's writing. I must say I can definitely see the resemblance. I found this book to be inspirational to me as an author! Jesse Stone is a simple and complex protagonist (yes, at the same time.) and Night Passage is a fantastic introduction to the Jesse Stone books/series. Not wanting to spoil things, I will not discuss the storyline here except to say I enjoyed it. The plot and backstory was not ...more
Mahoghani 23
Jesse Stone is a man's man. He takes no BS from anyone and listens more than he speaks. He pays attention to the little things and has very good street sense.

Paradise thought they were hiring a patsy to be the chief of police because he was drunk during the interview. Hasty Hathaway believed he could manipulate Jesse into doing what he he's in jail for three murders and will be tried in two states.

I enjoyed the story more than the movie. They had similarities but the book gave a
Michael P.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Parker's voice seems so strange in the third person, and he had not mastered it when writing this book. It was probably a wise choice, though, so that this series would not sound like his Spenser books. The story seems a trifle unimportat and the familiar Parker obsession with his real-life wife worked out in fictional form overwhelms the actual plot. In other words, there is a lot to complain about, but observing these things is an interesting exercise in itself. The result is that I received ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is Robert Parkers first Jesse Stone novel. I enjoyed it very much, liked Jesse and would read more about his adventures.
Gillian Murrell
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars This was my first novel by Robert Parker and it was a little slow for my liking but apart from that is was a good story. Jesse Stone, LAPD homicide detective finds himself a new job as chief of police in a town called Paradise, despite the fact that he is a drunk who has been fired from the LAPD. Jesse drinking problem is the result of his cheating x wife that he still loves. Moving away from her is his chance to start over. He has his own suspicions that all may not be quite right in ...more
RJ from the LBC
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a perfectly harmless mystery book that's not too hard to read and has some fun moments. Parker's no-frills prose shifts into the third-person and doesn't waste time with lengthy descriptions or ancillary information. Characters are a bit two-dimensional and cliche - yes, it's yet another hard-drinking cop who is depressed over his divorce and when he meets a woman with a short skirt in the first 50 pages you can bet they'll be dating by page 75. But there's nothing offensive here, just a ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of the Jesse Stone movies and finally decided to read the whole series. The book reads fast and Parker is great at creating the mood of the book. Although there are many plot lines in the movie that are true to the book, there's a lot more depth than translates to the movies. Fun read - nothing earth shattering but keeps you interested from beginning to end. Expect to not be able to put is down.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this Jesse Stone book. It more or less sets up how he got his job in Paradise, Massachusetts. Why he got his job and what they expected from him. Even thou I have seen the movie before reading this book, I still enjoyed it.
Majo's Library.
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, thriller
Although I sort of enjoyed this book... I don't think I'll continue reading the series. It seemed that it took several pages to explain an event that could have occured in a couple of pages. So, I didn't like the lengthy repetitive descriptions of "everything and anything".
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Quick easy read. Jesse Stone resembles his name as he keeps his facial expression & body language as readable as a stone, he speaks in short to the point phrases and he doesn't miss a thing. All good things when you are a cop. Jesse is a disgraced LA cop that worked in the homicide division until his drinking and inability to cope with his failing marriage led to his dismissal from the force. He interviews for a small-town Chief of Police position in Paradise, MA, hoping to put his ex-wife ...more
Barbara Nutting
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read 2014
Charlene Intriago
A 3.5 but I rounded up to 4. Took me awhile to get used to the dialogue and writing style - it is a little bit elementary. But it’s a good story and a quick read (once I got started).
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of flawed lawmen
My first exposure to Jesse Stone is through the television movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. I picked up most of the series books fairly cheaply and have only now got around to reading the first one. This was my first Robert Parker book and I have to say his format lends itself to a very fast read. There are 70-some-odd chapters and they just fly by. I liked that for pacing but think the characterizations, excepting Jesse, are a bit thin.

Jesse's wit and calm are my favourite aspects of
The first in the Jesse Stone novels, this was a little difficult for me to read. Not because the writing was bad but because I have seen the movie numerous times.

I will say that for the first five chapters, I had a hard time getting into the plot. I found Parker to be overly-descriptive for a mystery writer, and that took away from the plot at the start.

But once the book got going, it did not stop. Parker was on the money with his pacing and with his development of Stone's character. It makes
Henry Le Nav
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was inspired to read the series by the latest Jesse Stone movie, Lost in Paradise. I like the movies much better. The movies are for me pieces of art, scenery, music, moodiness, rain, dark lonely evenings with these repetitive quirks with a not bad detective story thrown in for free. (Like something that would appear in a sort of a slob's version of the Cannes Film Festival.) The book had the detective story (although somewhat different from the movie) but lacked the art. Not sure if I will ...more
Amanda McGill
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Jesse Stone was hired as the new police chief of Paradise, Massachusetts. Jesse had a tough time after his divorce and it affected his job at the LAPD. He is ready to turn over a new leaf in Paradise. However that's not what some of the people in Paradise want him to do and they can't have Jesse uncovering too much.

I liked the novel and Jesse Stone. I found the mystery to be a bit lacking though considering you got the perspective of the bad guys. Still a good series that I will be continuing.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Robert B. Parker.
Robert Brown Parker was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the late 1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced.

Other books in the series

Jesse Stone (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Trouble In Paradise (Jesse Stone, #2)
  • Death In Paradise (Jesse Stone, #3)
  • Stone Cold (Jesse Stone, #4)
  • Sea Change (Jesse Stone, #5)
  • High Profile (Jesse Stone, #6)
  • Stranger In Paradise (Jesse Stone, #7)
  • Night And Day (Jesse Stone, #8)
  • Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice (Jesse Stone, #11)
“Driving toward Gillette on Route 59 north of Bill, Wyoming, Tom Carson felt alien in the rolling landscape. Pronghorn antelope appeared here and there in the hills, grazing in herds, strung out along a stream drinking. Buffalo grazed too in the gently undulant pastures. They weren’t wild herds, he knew. They were ranch buffalo, healthful, destined to be slaughtered and sold in specialty stores. He’d never been anywhere very much until he moved to Wyoming. Lived all his life in Paradise, and his parents too. His mother taught seventh grade at Paradise Junior High. His father ran the Gulf station. The only gas station in the downtown area. He had no military experience. He hadn’t gone to college. He’d joined the cops after working three years for his father. The” 0 likes
“You shoot, you always shoot to kill. It’s not the movies. You’re in a crisis situation, you got about a half second to do what needs to be done. Your” 0 likes
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