Tuesday, July 18, 2017


© by Gerald So | 6:30 a.m.

Thanks to publicist Erin Mitchell, I received an advance readers' copy of Reed Farrel Coleman's fourth Jesse Stone continuation novel, due out September 12. It throws Jesse, still grieving the death of his fiancee Diana Evans, into two cases: the search for a long-lost demo tape of reclusive recording artist Terry Jester, Boston's answer to Bob Dylan, and the seemingly unrelated death of an elderly Paradise resident during a robbery attempt.

Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone novels, like many of his later works, were self-contained adventures. The only thing that clearly qualifies as a multi-book arc in Parker's work is Spenser's separation from and reunion with Susan Silverman in the mid-1980s. By contrast, Coleman's fourth continuation deliberately builds on characters and events from his first (Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot). Coleman invites readers to think of continuation not as imitation of the original author, but as true further exploration of the original's fascinating characters.

Yes, this particular case teams Jesse with Parker favorites Spenser and Vinnie Morris, but more compelling to me are Jesse's efforts to move on from his addictions and from his ex-wife Jenn, two staples of Parker's books that limited the series' scope on his watch.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Independence Day 2017

© by Gerald So | 6:30 a.m.

This Independence Day I'm particular reminded that the United States is so much more than its government representatives, whom we may or may not like. In the course of its 241 years, the U.S. hasn't always lived up to its ideals, but I'm grateful to live in a country that strives toward those noble ideals. Even when its citizens disagree, that conflict is how we come to better understand each other over time.