Book review: Robert B. Parker’s Killing the Blues (by Michael Brandman)

I hate being right.

I’ve written before of my trepidation about literary continuators, and my first experience with one of Robert B. Parker’s has done nothing except convince me I’m right.

Michael Brandman is a screenwriter, one of the guys behind the highly successful TV adaptations of Parker’s Jesse Stone novels. You’d think he would know what works and what doesn’t about Parker’s characters.

You would be wrong.

I picked up his continuation of the Jesse Stone mythos, Killing the Blues, and couldn’t make it past the first chapter. The elements that make Parker’s writing work are completely missing. I’d consider this a pastiche rather than a real novel, and as such it’s not worth my time. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s like bad Harry Potter fan fiction.

This is one of those books where you can see that there is a definite difference in writing screenplays and writing novels. This was published based on Parker’s name alone. Stay away.


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