Night and Day by Robert B. Parker


dayReviewed by Allen Hott

Any story that features a semi-alcoholic police chief with a wayward girl friend (who actually is his ex-wife) has to be interesting. And Night and Day is a very interesting and fast moving read because that is the way that Robert B. Parker writes his mystery novels.

Jesse Stone is the Chief of Police in the city of Paradise Massachusetts. He has bumped around in various more lucrative positions but for various reasons, including his love of scotch, he has ended up in this little town with a twelve-person police force. Normally the job is pretty much laid back and simple but several things have begun happening that are causing Chief Stone some concerns.

One of the first is when the principal of the high school decided that she would check the undergarments of the girls as they entered the Prom. Supposedly she was looking for “indecent types, such as thongs” but regardless of what she was searching for the net result was that many of the parents of the girls involved began to contact the Police Chief for his assistance.

Not only was Jesse unsure of his position in this ruckus but it also turns out that the principal’s husband is the managing partner of the state’s largest law firm.

Suffice it to say that the husband wants Jesse and the townspeople to just quietly forget about the entire event.

However while that bit of gossipy material is wafting through the town, a daughter of two of Paradise’s citizens visits Chief Jesse because she is concerned about her parents. She is not sure if they are doing anything illegal but she is very worried because they have become members of the Swinger’s Club of Paradise! She is concerned for her younger brother as well as for her own safety because it appears that since they have joined the club their parents have begun arguing more and more. And their father has become abusive to them.

As though these recent happenings aren’t enough to cause Chief Jesse to look forward to his evening scotches even more, one of his deputies gets called to a local residence on a complaint of a peeping tom.

All of these seemingly small items continue to grow and intertwine into a complete mystery, which takes the chief and his entire force to investigate. As the story grows and becomes more entangled Chief Jesse continues to mull over the causes and effects each night over his scotch while he also broods over his missing ex-wife/girlfriend.

The ending is well done and has to satisfy all readers without a doubt. Robert B. Parker is one of the best writers and also one who relies primarily on dialogue and much less on description. This makes for a quick and interesting read that pleases most readers.



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