cover image Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay: A Jesse Stone Novel

Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay: A Jesse Stone Novel

Reed Farrel Coleman. Putnam, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-17143-7

Coleman isn’t afraid to alter the status quo in his taut third continuation of Parker’s series featuring small-town police chief Jesse Stone (after 2015’s The Devil Wins). Jesse, who rebounded from losing his job with the LAPD because of his alcoholism, has found a comfortable landing spot in Paradise, Mass., and has reached the point where he feels confident that he can remain sober. But that resolve is tested by two intertwined developments that challenge his personal and professional life. His ex-wife, Jenn, is about to get married, and Jesse, who has found a new love in ex-FBI agent Diana Evans, hopes the ceremony will give him closure for a difficult relationship. And the man known as Mr. Peepers, “part serial killer, part assassin, part terrorist,” has resurfaced to torment Jesse. Mr. Peepers’s threat to murder Jenn sets up a complex cat and mouse game that will keep readers turning pages en route to an appropriate conclusion, which offers numerous possibilities for the next book. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (Sept.)