Skip to main content

ROBERT B. PARKER'S COLORBLIND by Reed Farrel Coleman

Book design by Lucia Bernard
In Reed Farrel Coleman's fifth Jesse Stone continuation, the Paradise, Massachusetts police chief is back from a stint in alcohol rehab, investigating a racially-motivated assault that has left African American Felicity Wileford near death. With racial tensions on the rise in Paradise and the surrounding towns, Alisha Davis, the only black Paradise PD officer, is accused of shooting an unarmed white man.

Thanks to the third-person, multi-viewpoint style of the Jesse Stone books, readers find out very soon that a racist militia looking to spread is behind both incidents. As a longtime Parker and Coleman fan, I was more intrigued by the predicaments Jesse and Alisha faced because of the incidents than any sense of mystery.

On the personal front, Robert B. Parker's Colorblind marks Jesse's first authentic attempt to stop drinking, by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. This gives longtime readers a fresh look at what had been relegated to a background vice in Parker's and Michael Brandman's books and the Tom Selleck movies. Jesse would conveniently sober up just in time and long enough to save the day.

While the investigation into Alisha's shooting—the most compelling part of the book—is out of Jesse's control, he faces some fallout trying to get at the truth of what happened.

The novel's strength is that it doesn't feel like a story; everything doesn't tie up neatly. It's very clear Coleman is holding a mirror up to America's real racist threat, making this his most powerful continuation to date.

Robert B. Parker's Colorblind goes on sale September 11.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories

The Night of the Flood: A Novel in Stories goes on sale March 5. I invited the editors, E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen, to tell us more about it:

It happened the night Maggie Wilbourne was to be put to death, the first woman executed by the state of Pennsylvania in modern times. That was when a group of women passionately protesting Maggie’s imprisonment struck. They blew up a local dam, flooding the town of Everton and indirectly inspiring a hellish night of crime and chaos.

Fourteen of today’s most exciting contemporary crime writers will take you to the fictional town of Everton, with stories from criminals, cops, and civilians that explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty. Whether it’s a store owner grimly protecting his property from looters, an opportunistic servant who sees her time to strike, or two misguided youths taking their anger out against any available victim, The Night of the Flood is an intricate and…

2018 Derringer Finalist William Burton McCormick

I'm a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, an informal association of writers, publishers, and fans that has kept mystery & crime short stories in the public eye since 1996. On April 15, the Society announced the finalists for its 2018 Derringer Awards. Members are voting to determine the winners, to be announced May 15.

In the meantime, as I did last year, I'm inviting the finalists for interviews. If you'd like to participate, email me your answers to the same following questions.

Published widely and worldwide, Bill McCormick is up for the Best Long Story Derringer (4,001—8,000 words) with the chilling "Matricide and Ice Cream" from The CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour (November 2017).

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

An American man bumps off his mother on a Ukrainian train. It seems the perfect crime until another passenger starts snooping-around.

What were the most difficult and most enjoyable parts of writing the story?

The story…

2018 Derringer Finalist Patricia Dusenbury

I'm a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, an informal association of writers, publishers, and fans that has kept mystery & crime short stories in the public eye since 1996. On April 15, the Society announced the finalists for its 2018 Derringer Awards. Members are voting to determine the winners, to be announced May 15.

In the meantime, as I did last year, I'm inviting the finalists for interviews. If you'd like to participate, email me your answers to the same following questions.

Patricia Dusenbury is up for the Best Flash Derringer (Up to 1,000 words) for her Flash Bang Mysteries story "Cold Turkey".

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

A man in love gives up smoking and discovers his best friend cannot be trusted.

What were the most difficult and most enjoyable parts of writing the story?

Difficult: telling a story in 750 words. Enjoyable: telling a story in 750 words. Flash fiction is fun and challenging, especially for someone who started writin…