#BlogTour #BookReview - Robert B. Parker's Debt to Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman

All is quiet in Paradise, except for a spate of innocuous vandalism.
Good thing, too, because Jesse Stone is preoccupied with the women in his life, both past and present. As his ex-wife, Jenn, is about to marry a Dallas real-estate tycoon, Jesse isn't too sure his relationship with former FBI agent Diana Evans is built to last. But those concerns get put on the back burner when a major Boston crime boss is brutally murdered. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesse suspects it's the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has caused trouble for Jesse in the past.

Peepers has long promised revenge against the Mob, Jesse, and Suit for their roles in foiling one of his hits - and against Jenn as well. And though Jesse and Jenn have long parted ways, Jesse still feels responsible for her safety. Jesse and Diana head to Dallas for the wedding and, along with the tycoon's security team, try to stop Peepers before the bill comes due. With Peepers toying with the authorities as to when and where he'll strike, Jesse is up against the wall. Still, there's a debt to pay and blood to be spilled to satisfy it. But whose blood, and just how much?

Robert B. Parker wrote over 60 books in 37 years, and was among the top 10 best-selling authors in the world with over 15 million copies sold.
He won the prestigious Grand Master Edgar Award
Reed Farrel Coleman is a New York Times Bestseller and three-time Edgar Award nominee, who was selected by the estate of Robert P Parker to continue his legacy.
Jesse Stone TV series shown on Channel 5 starring Tom Selleck.

It's my pleasure to host the blog tour for Debt to Pay today, many thanks to No Exit Press and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part and for my advance copy received in return for my honest review. Originally written by Robert B. Parker, this is the fifteenth Jesse Stone book and the third to be penned by Reed Farrel Coleman. Although new to the series I was able to figure out the important details from Jesse's past - he is a former minor league baseball player, forced to quit through injury, who became a homicide detective in the LAPD but was asked to resign after his descent into alcoholism following his destructive marriage to Jenn. He has since become the well respected chief of police in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts. When we join him in Debt to Pay he is sober and in a much healthier relationship with Diana, an ex-FBI agent.When he receives an invitation to Jenn's wedding to property tycoon, Hale Hunsicker in Dallas he is initially torn before making the decision to finally cut ties with his past, and tells Jenn he won't be coming.
However, a dangerous character from his past has other ideas. In a previous novel, Blind Spot, Jesse crossed paths with a notorious hitman known only as Mr Peepers, saving his would be victim. His deputy Luther 'Suitcase' Simpson managed to shoot the killer but was also shot, almost fatally. Now Mr Peepers is back, and he wants revenge. The subtle messages he's been sending to Jesse by shooting car tyres don't seem to have done the trick so he pays a visit to local mob boss Gino Fish. Gino helped Jesse in the previous case and after Mr Peepers' visit it appears that Gino has died in a murder suicide after first killing his secretary/lover Drew. However, Fish's former right hand man, Vinnie Morris believes the truth about what really happened involves the elusive hitman and takes the case to Stone, reminding him that the debt he owed Gino Fish didn't die with the man - Jesse still owes him and he intends to see the debt repaid. Jesse soon realises Vinnie is correct, Mr Peepers is back and with his twisted need to exact revenge he's targeting Jenn. If Stone is to protect his ex-wife he'll have to attend her wedding but what exactly does the psychotic assassin have planned?
This is really gripping cat and mouse stuff, as the action switches between Paradise and Dallas Jesse can't show his hand too quickly lest Mr Peepers goes back to ground and strikes at a time when they aren't expecting him to. This is a man who has been almost like a ghost to the authorities, torturing and killing scores of people yet only Jesse Stone has ever come close to capturing him. If Mr Peepers was able to take sadistic pleasure in his paid for work, what could he be capable of now it's personal? The tension brings a terrible personal toll to Jesse, forced into an uneasy alliance with Hale Hunsicker's security, struggling to keep those around him safe and all the while battling his own demons. As the book progresses it's obvious that the psychological affect on him is already devastating. Jesse isn't a man of fine words and quick wit but he inspires fierce loyalty from his friends and colleagues, although deeply troubled, he is also a man of principles who feels terrible guilt that his actions have led to others being in danger. As readers we occasionally get to hear Peeper's thoughts as the narration switches to the killer. However, like Jesse we have no idea as to his final plans, the twists he institutes are shocking and the book races to a breathtaking, explosive finale.
 As my first Jesse Stone novel I'm unable to comment on how Reed Farrel Coleman's character compares to the man created by Robert B. Parker but what I can say is that this is fine writing. Debt to Pay is an exciting and fast paced hardboiled thriller, and I'm desperate to know what's next for Jesse Stone!
Don't miss the rest of the tour, dates can be found below.

Debt to Pay will be published in the UK by No Exit Press on 21st September 2017. Reed Farrel Coleman is on Twitter as @ReedFColeman and his website is here.

About the Author

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the “noir poet laureate” in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the author of novels, including the acclaimed Moe Prager series, short stories, and poetry.

He is a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories—Best Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Short Story—and a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards.

A former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America, Reed Farrel Coleman is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University and a founding member of MWA University. Brooklyn born and raised, he now lives with his family in Suffolk County on Long Island.