Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot penned by veteran author Reed Farrell Coleman is a really good read…it is however, not a Robert B. Parker, Jesse Stone book. Parker’s one time major league prospect shortstop turned Paradise Massachusetts police chief, Jesse Stone gets an invite to a reunion of his former Triple-A team; pulled together by a teammate who made it to the Show. Thus starts a tale of twisted and intersecting pasts and paths.
The late Robert B. Parker who created the Stone character along with the likes of his stalwart P I, Spenser, was a master of dialog; the interactions of his memorable characters and their comfortable as an old shoe banter was what made the stories he wove truly shine. Based on this outing, I can’t say the same holds true for Mr. Coleman.
Blind Spot is a much more story driven approach to things with the familiar characters coming of as much more stilted and forced and not near as they were originally drawn. Stone’s battle with the bottle comes off like it came straight from a How to Identify an Alcoholic Handbook; does Stone have a problem? Probably, but Coleman gives Stones taste for and pursuit of Johnnie Walker Black Label come off a bit like a caricature of a lush.
While it may not measure up for Parker fans, I did find Coleman’s story to be a good one; more than a few former Major Leaguers having checkered post retirement careers in the financial services industry and ending up in the gray bar hotel. This outing intrigued me enough to have me track down a few of 20 books Coleman has authored.