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Book Review: 'Night Passage'

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Not for nothing is Parker regarded as the reigning champion of the American tough-guy detective novel, heavyweight division. Over a 25-year career, the man has rarely composed a bad sentence or an inert paragraph. His 30th novel Night Passage, which features brand-new protagonist Jesse Stone, a disgraced former Los Angeles cop with a drinking problem, proves no exception. Fleeing a broken marriage, Stone signs on as police chief in Paradise, Mass. Naturally, there’s a reason why the town selectmen wanted a drunk to run their police department. It also goes without saying that they’ve badly underestimated their man. Meanwhile, fear not, Spenser fans: Parker’s not retiring his wiseacre Boston private eye, merely starting another promising series. B+

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