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Authors: Robert B Parker

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Death In Paradise

Death in Paradise
By
Robert B. Parker
Contents

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty-four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
Chapter Twenty-eight
Chapter Twenty-nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
Chapter Thirty-three
Chapter Thirty-four
Chapter Thirty-five
Chapter Thirty-six
Chapter Thirty-seven
Chapter Thirty-eight
Chapter Thirty-nine
Chapter Forty
Chapter Forty-one
Chapter Forty-two
Chapter Forty-three
Chapter Forty-four
Chapter Forty-five
Chapter Forty-six
Chapter Forty-seven
Chapter Forty-eight
Chapter Forty-nine
Chapter Fifty
Chapter Fifty-one
Chapter Fifty-two
Chapter Fifty-three
Chapter Fifty-four
Chapter Fifty-five
Chapter Fifty-six
Chapter Fifty-seven
Chapter Fifty-eight
Chapter Fifty-nine
Chapter Sixty
Chapter Sixty-one
Chapter Sixty-two
Chapter Sixty-three
Chapter Sixty-four
Chapter Sixty-five
Chapter Sixty-six

 

"[PARKER] HAS ANOTHER WINNER IN JESSE STONE."

—USA Today

 

Praise for
Death in Paradise

 

"Stone is a deceptively complex character, one whose problems are both interesting and completely believable… another strong effort in what is already an impressive series."

—
Library Journal

 

"Beautifully wrought… [an] immensely satisfying tale. Rarely if ever has Parker's fiction conveyed with solemn intensity the challenge of living a good life in a world of sin. The book's ultimate pleasure lies in the words, suffused with a tough compassion won only through years of living, presented in prose whose impeccability speaks of decades of careful writing."

—
Publishers Weekly
(starred)

 

"What's so cool about
Death in Paradise
is watching Jesse Stone's relentless pursuit of the bad guy."

—
St. Petersburg Times

 

"Hard-hitting… and brutally frank… Parker reinvents, revises, and reincarnates the hardball, tough-guy, deadpan mysteries of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
Death in Paradise
is a tough, clear-eyed, sardonic look at life and the raw deals it can dish out."

—
The Providence Sunday Journal

 

"If you love Parker, you'll love this book. Jesse Stone is clearly in the Parker style."

—
Calgary Herald

 

"James Ellroy-style dialogue… Like Jesse Stone's beer, Parker's novels can be quaffed with relish."

—
Ottawa Citizen

 

"[Parker's] gift for creating engaging characters and involving the reader in their fate makes this… well worth your attention."

—
The San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Trouble in Paradise

 

"This book is so good, there're not enough R's in terrific."

—
The Kansas City Star

 

"Tough and tight… [Robert Parker] once again shows how to do it well, and with style."

—
Publishers Weekly

 

"Tough-guy dialogue… sharp social commentary… psychological penetration. Fresh… Interesting… Robert B. Parker is loaded for bear this time."

—
The Boston Globe

 

"Parker has injected
Trouble in Paradise
with yet another blast of the page-turning energy he's famous for."

—
The New York Post

 

"You've got to like Stone… Harks back to Spenser and, before him, Sam Spade."

—
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

"Parker's plot is built like a smooth-running Ducati engine. It is paced beautifully… Tight storytelling."

—
The Newark Star-Ledger

 

"Parker's new series continues explosively… Parker does an excellent job of building tension and weaving several subplots into an explosive finale."

—
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Night Passage

 

"Jesse Stone is a complex and consistently interesting new protagonist."

—
Newsday

 

"Not for nothing is Parker regarded as the reigning champion of the American tough-guy detective novel, heavyweight division. Over a twenty-five-year career, the man has rarely composed a bad sentence or an inert paragraph. His thirtieth novel, which features brand-new protagonist Jesse Stone… proves no exception."

—
Entertainment Weekly

 

"Stunning."

—
Houston Chronicle

 

"Vintage Parker."

—
The Denver Post

 

"A winner."

—
The Boston Globe

 

"A genuine page-turner."

—
Hartford Courant

 

"A fast-paced, character-driven tale that practically reads itself."

—
The Raleigh News & Observer

 

"[Parker's] writing—tough, witty, lean, with a touch of the poet—has never been better."

—
Lexington Herald-Leader

 

THE SPENSER NOVELS

 

Potshot

Hugger Mugger

Hush Money

Sudden Mischief

Small Vices

Chance

Thin Air

Walking Shadow

Paper Doll

Double Deuce

Pastime

Stardust

Playmates

Crimson Joy

Pale Kings and Princes

Taming a Sea-Horse

A Catskill Eagle

Valediction

The Widening Gyre

Ceremony

A Savage Place

Early Autumn

Looking for Rachel Wallace

The Judas Goat

Promised Land

Mortal Stakes

God Save the Child

The Godwulf Manuscript

 

THE JESSE STONE NOVELS

 

Death in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

Night Passage

 

THE SUNNY RANDALL NOVELS

 

Perish Twice

Family Honor

 

ALSO BY ROBERT B. PARKER

 

Gunman's Rhapsody

All Our Yesterdays

Perchance to Dream

Poodle Springs (with Raymond Chandler)

Love and Glory

Wilderness

Three Weeks in the Spring
(with Joan Parker)

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

DEATH IN PARADISE

A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author

PRINTING HISTORY

G. P. Putnam's Sons hardcover edition / October 2001

Berkley mass-market edition / November 2002

Copyright © 2001 by Robert B. Parker.

Cover art by Jacob Ristan/RBMM.

Cover design by Judy Murello.

All rights reserved.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

Visit our website at www.penguinputnam.com

ISBN: 0-425-18706-3

BERKLEY®

Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY and the "B" design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Putnam Inc.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

10 987654321

 

 

 

FOR DAVE AND DAN

 

who kept their mother going

and brought their father home.

DEATH IN
PARADISE
Chapter One

 

 

One out. A left-handed hitter with an inside-out swing. The ball would slice away from him toward third. Jesse took a step to his right. The next pitch was inside and chest high and the batter yanked it down the first baseline, over the bag and into the right-field corner, had there been a corner, and lumbered into second base without a throw.

"I saw you move into the hole," the batter said to Jesse.

"Foiled again, Paulie."

They played three nights a week under the lights on the west side of town beside a lake, wearing team tee shirts and hats. One umpire. No stealing. No spikes allowed. Officially it was the Paradise Men's Softball League, but Jesse often thought of it as the Boys of Evening. The next batter was right-handed and Jesse knew he pulled everything. He stayed in the hole. On a two-one count the right-handed hitter rammed the ball a step to Jesse's left. One step. Left foot first, right foot turned, glove on the ground. Soft hands. Don't grab at it. Let it come to you. It was all muscle memory. Exact movements, rehearsed since childhood, and deeply visceral, somatically choreographed by the movement of the ball. With the ball hit in front of him, Paulie tried to go to third. In a continuous sequence of motion, Jesse swiped him with his glove as he went by, then threw the runner out at first.

"Never try to advance on a ball hit in front of you," Paulie said as they walked off the field.

"I've heard that," Jesse said.

His shoulder hurt, as it always did when he threw. And he knew, as he always knew, that the throw was not a big-league throw. Before he got hurt, the ball used to hum when he threw it, used to make a little snarly hiss as it went across the infield.

After the game they drank beer in the parking lot. Jesse was careful with the beer. Hanging around in the late twilight after a ball game drinking club soda just didn't work. But booze was too easy for Jesse. It went down too gently, made him feel too integrated. Jesse felt that it wasn't seemly for the police chief to get publicly hammered. So he had learned in the last few years to approach it very carefully.

The talk was of double plays, and games played long ago, and plays at the plate, and sex. Talk of sex and baseball was the best of all possible talk. Jesse sipped a little of the beer. Beer from an ice-filled cooler was the best way for beer to be. From the edge of the lake a voice said, "Jesse, get over here."

The voice was scared. Carrying a can of Lite beer, Jesse walked to the lakeside. Two men were squatting on their heels at the edge of the water. In front of them, floating facedown, was something that used to be a girl.

Chapter Two

 

 

The rest of the Paradise cops didn't like looking at the body. Jesse had pulled it out, and it lay now on the ground illuminated by the headlights of the Paradise Police cruisers.

"She been in the water a long time?" Suitcase Simpson asked Jesse.

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