After the death of author Robert B. Parker, Michael Brandman took over the “Jesse Stone” series. The first one Robert B. Parker’s Killing The Blues was a fairly good book. It certainly was not Robert B. Parker, but the book was good and there was the suggestion that Michael Brandman had plans to push the boundaries a little bit. Unfortunately, this novel is simply nowhere as near as good while it reads like discarded pieces of a movie script due to the lack of depth to characters or scenes. The book features three equally weak storylines that are way too predictable for any mystery reader.


The primary storyline is about threats against actress, Marisol Hinton, who is in town to film a movie. Her marriage to another actor is collapsing due to his ego, his lack of movie roles, and his heavy drug use.


The two secondary storylines involve water usage and rates and the spoiled teen of a rich family who is acting out.


In a sense, all three storylines in this latest Jess Stone novel are about folks acting out in one way or another. In all cases, those involved get dealt with in easily predictable fashion over the course of the 278 page novel. A novel that features very little scene description, nothing new in the Jesse Stone character, and weak storylines that seem to have come straight from a discarded movie script of the now cancelled series. On a positive note, the mentions of Jesse’s ex-wife, Jenn, are kept to a bare minimum giving the impression that Jesse is slowly moving on.


Going back on the promise of a slightly edgier Jesse Stone, Robert B. Parker’s Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel is saccharine even for this series. One knew that it would be all but impossible for anyone to continue the Jesse Stone series as written by Robert B. Parker.  One hoped that Mr. Brandman would not make it the series even lighter in terms of storylines, plots, settings, etc. Thanks to an absolute minimum of scene setting, limited dialogue that often reads forced, and three storylines where the resolution is obvious from early on, this read is a very disappointing step backwards and not anywhere near the level of the last book.


Robert B. Parker’s Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel

Michael Brandman

G. P. Putnam’s Son (Penguin Group)


ISBN# 978-0-399-15949-7


276 Pages




Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple © 2012


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