Jesse Stone #3: Death in Paradise by Robert ParkerMystery/Thriller
I so enjoy reading Jesse Stone books. What I most like about them isn't necessarily the mystery (which is always superbly plotted), or the adventure (which is often knuckle-biting), it's the character of Jesse.
Jesse is a human with a lot of human mistakes. He is an alcoholic, not recovering, and has real issues with his on-again, off-again ex-wife. I love that Parker doesn't make any excuses for Jesse's behavior and that Jesse doesn't make any for himself. Usually, in a book, the character is recovering from some addiction. In this book, and the others in the series so far, Jesse isn't recovering. He fights his demons in front of the reader and it's so refreshing to read about a "real" person with problems who isn't always successful in dealing with them.
In this series installment, Jesse is hot on the trail of a murder. A local teenager is found floating in the lake and Jesse and his not-so-crackpot team of police dive in to the mystery only to discover the waters are a lot deeper than they look. Soon, the tiny police force is mixed up in the gang, prostitution, and child molestation. As always, the plot is so tightly written. It's a pleasure to see Jesse's mind at work and I love that he is changing man, book by book. Can't wait to read the next one!