A Book Spy Review: ‘Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind’ by Reed Farrel Coleman


Robert B Parker's Colorblind.jpgColeman’s fifth Jesse Stone novel tackles a number of timely issues, taking on a darker tone than in past books. 

Following the events of Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet, Paradise Police Chief Jesse Stone is doing everything he can to give sobriety an honest attempt. That includes a two-month stint in rehab (which takes place between books), along with other lifestyle changes. In his absence, officer Molly Crane assumed Jesse’s desk, though she never has had aspirations of becoming chief. 

Back on the job, Jesse has little time to re-acclimate himself to the grind when Felicity Wileford, a brilliant African-American doctoral student, is brutally raped and assaulted. On her stomach, her assaulter smeared the word “slut,” which Jesse has a feeling is a nod to his first murder case in Maine many years prior. While searching for a connection between the cases, Jesse monitors a new couple–Ron and Liza Patel–who recently moved to Paradise and purchased his old home. Stone suspects they’re part of a white supremacy group called Saviors of Society, which has recently made their presence felt in Paradise with a string of violent hate crimes. 

As the story unfolds, Leon Vandercamp, the leader of Saviors of Society, becomes an obvious suspect. Sadly, the bleeding-heart racist is smart, and his fellow bigots are all very loyal to him and their cause. That leads to a confrontation between Alisha Davis, Paradise’s first female African-American police officer, and a Caucasian suspect in a darkened alley. The encounter results in an officer-involved shooting, and when only Davis emerges, Vandercamp turns the tables by claiming that Jesse’s officer killed an innocent, unarmed man simply for being white, painting her as the racist. 

With evil pouring into Paradise from all sides, it’s up to Jesse Stone to connect the dots and stomp out the bad guys before all hell breaks loose.  If all of that wasn’t challenging enough, he also has to do it while trying to remain sober. . . which might just prove to be his toughest challenge of all. 

Chapter two (the first from Jesse’s point of view) opens with the line, “Everything was completely different, yet just the same.” In the story, the line refers to Stone’s observations upon returning back to Paradise. But it also serves as a great way to describe his fictional universe being written by Coleman as opposed to Robert B. Parker. Things are the same, kind of, but they’re also really different.

For starters, Coleman’s writing style is unique and doesn’t match Parker’s at all, plus this is easily one of the darkest Jesse Stone books to date.  None of that is a knock on Reed Farrel Coleman, who is a fine and accomplished writer. Diehard Jesse Stone fans should absolutely be tuning into his work if they haven’t already. . . just know going into it that, much like different movies in the same franchise can have a different feel and look depending on who directed them, Coleman’s take is a little different than earlier books in the series.

As for the characters, fans can rest assured that this is the same Jesse readers have known and loved for twenty years. He’s changing a little, mostly for the better, but he still operates the same way he always has, and Coleman has done a wonderful job continuing Parker’s legacy.  

Jesse Stone is back, and he’s facing danger at every turn in Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind, the latest page-turning, must-read novel from Reed Farrel Coleman. 

Book Details

Author: Reed Farrel Coleman
Series: Jesse Stone
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399574948
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10



Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.


September 11


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