cover image Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot

Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot

Reed Farrel Coleman, read by James Naughton. Random House Audio, unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-553-39823-6

The Jesse Stone novels, about perhaps Robert B. Parker’s most complex character, are now being channeled by Reed Farrel Coleman. In this well-plotted tale, police chief Jesse Stone, a former minor league baseball player with big league possibilities before suffering a debilitating shoulder injury, reluctantly attends a reunion of his old Triple-A team, bringing back memories of his lost career and former love interest. Before he falls too deeply into the doldrums of what might have been, he’s called back to Paradise, Mass., to investigate the murder of a young girl and the disappearance of her boyfriend. As Jesse and his team find themselves trying to untangle a web of lies, extortion, coverups, kidnapping, and murder, it may be that they all tie back to the reunion and Jesse’s past. Reader Naughton hits the mark in his straightforward, no-frills narration. His characterizations are well delineated but subtle, with natural-sounding dialogue and just the right touch of regional accents. But Naughton shines with Jesse Stone, fully inhabiting the flawed but compelling character. Between Coleman and Naughton, Parker’s protagonist is in good hands. A Putnam hardcover. (Sept.)