Trouble in Paradise by Robert B. Parker (Book Review)

Trouble In Paradise (Jesse Stone, #2)Trouble In Paradise by Robert B. Parker

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am troubled.

People, and noticeably women, in this book are constantly talking about fucking. “Are you fucking him?” “No, I was fucking him last week. Now I’m fucking someone else.” “OK, cuz I’m fucking him now.” I don’t object to fucking–fucking is fun. It’s not the word fuck, either–fuck knows I can use fuck as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, interrogative, interjection, preposition, and intensifier, virtually every grammatical form of fuck at the drop of a fucking hat. But in all my years as a woman, with girlfriends and our discussions of crushes and current lovers and exes, we did not throw the word fuck around like the women in this book do, not when we were talking about actual, you know, fucking. We said things like “Have you slept with him yet?” and “Oh my God he’s so good in bed” and “Worst lay I’ve ever had” and “I know I’m done with him, but seriously, hands off. Gauche.”

Did Parker think women really talk like the women in this book? Were my girlfriends and I the only women in America who don’t? Or is it just women in Paradise, Massachusetts who talk like that? It’s kind of funny, I guess, that I freely use the word fuck for anything except actual fornication. Making love is awesome. Hot lust is hot. Maybe this is some prudery on my part that I’m not acknowledging well. But all the fucking in this book just sounds mechanical, like it’s part of their fitness regime or something.

And then there’s all the actual fucking as part of the story. He’s fucking her, but now he’s fucking this one over here, who is also fucking that guy over there, who is fucking the same woman the first guy was fucking. If they’re not actually fucking, they’re thinking about fucking or talking about fucking or engaging in stalker-ish behavior about who each other is fucking. It makes me wonder about the STD statistics of this little town; a more apt title might be “Chlamydia in Paradise.” The actual crime story had potential, but for me it came off like an Ocean’s Eleven that got derailed by a lot of fucking.

Jesse and this whole Jenn thing have me a bit flummoxed as well. I get love, and being willing to look like an idiot for it, but the level to which this “man’s man” lets this bimbo fuck anyone she pleases while being at her beck and call and constantly pining away for her, is irritating me. Jenn is simply not written well enough for me to get why she inspires all this angst and humiliation. Perhaps that’s the point, that we usually cannot understand what one person sees in any other. But all I can think is, man up, dude.

And that thing at the end. No spoilers. But it would have been a lot more realistic if he’d just fucked her. I don’t care if he’s the chief of police or not.

If an RBP had to disappoint me, I’m glad it was a Jesse Stone novel and not a Spenser. I’ll read the next one, but I’m not sure how much more of Jenn I can take.

Bookshelves: detective, mystery, manly-men-kicking-ass

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Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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