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Sea Change    by Robert B. Parker order for
Sea Change
by Robert Parker
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's Race Week in Paradise, Massachusetts and police chief Jesse Stone has his hands full with shoplifters, drunk and disorderlies, drug users, accusations of rape, assorted mayhem - and murder. The floater who washes up at the town wharf turns out to be rich, wild Florence Horvath. How did she get there?

With diligent long distance help from Fort Lauderdale cop Kelly Cruz and local support from state police captain Healy, Jesse's investigation quickly zeroes in on two yacht owners, Darnell and Ralston, and turns up videos of group sex with underage participants. The victim's slim, blond twin sisters, Corliss and Claudia ('Dumb and dumber') show up - what do they know?

Jesse continues therapy and hasn't had a drink in ten months, he and Jenn are together again, but he still obsesses over aspects of their current and past relationship (for which Jenn calls him Hamlet), and sexual aspects of this case exacerbate those feelings. Jenn, who has been picked to host an hour-long special on Race Week, offers helpful observations and insights on the case. Rita Fiore is consulted and there are even hints of a very brief involvment by Spenser.

As always in a Parker novel, I enjoy the banter, especially that between Jesse and small, dark-haired policewoman Molly, who has 'curiosity and absolute resolve'. The case comes to a surprising and disturbing resolution, and in the process Jesse learns to trust himself and Jenn again. Sea Change is a smooth and entertaining read.

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