Jesse Leaves No Stone Unturned
"Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" was the third of the nine Jesse Stone novels which Robert B. Parker wrote it is also the third movie in the series which features Tom Selleck in the title role. But the thing is that the first Jesse Stone story to be adapted into a movie was the fourth book and the second movie was the first book. That may sound confusing but it isn't as long as you have seen both "Stone Cold" and "Jesse Stone: Night Passage" because there are elements to this third movie which relate to what has been set up in the previous movies. I bet that still sounds quite messy to those who have not seen a Jesse Stone movie, so basically I will say for those who haven't try and watch the first two movies first and for those who have will be glad to know that "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" is as good as the previous movies with just an added touch of grittiness.
Whilst dealing with routine issues such as domestic violence, Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck - Monte Walsh), the Chief of Police in Paradise, finds himself dealing with the decomposed boy of a teenage girl which is found by the waters edge. With no ID Stone along with Luther 'Suitcase' Simpson (Kohl Sudduth) investigate which leads them to discover that the girl was Billie Bishop (Carolyn Fitzgibbons), the local bike who happened to have connections to writer Norman Shaw (Gary Basaraba) who in turn was connected to gangster Leo Finn (Steven Flynn).
So the storyline in "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" revolves around a decomposed body found by the water's edge, and this is the gritty bit because the few brief seconds when we see the body or photos of the body it is a little unpleasant. What this means is as you would expect Jesse Stone investigating this case, trying to find out who the dead girl is and who murdered her. It twists and turns but in a believable way as one clue leads to someone else and just when you think you may have it sussed it finds another twist to lead you in another direction. All of which leads to a satisfying, feasible but also unexpected outcome as Stone solves the case in his usual quiet yet forceful manner.
But of course that is not all there is to "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" and we also have Jesse dealing with domestic violence as a husband is arrested for battering his wife. Not only does this story have a pivotal part to play in the story of sub characters but with the husband being a drunk it has a part play in Jesse's story as he has to confront his own alcohol problems. And this is where you have to have watched the previous 2 Jesse Stone movies because there are elements which you will be confused by unless you have followed the story of Jesse, his drinking, his friendship with his ex wife who he talks to on the phone as well as his friendship with the officers who work for him. But typically all of this makes "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" a nicely rounded story which gives us a crime but also advances the characters ready for the next movie.
Now I am going to sound like a broken record because whilst all the performances in "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" are good be it Gary Basaraba as shady writer Norman Shaw or Kohl Sudduth as Luther 'Suitcase' Simpson it is again Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone who makes it so watch able. There is just something charismatic about the way Selleck plays Stone, almost world weary but with this inner toughness which occasionally bursts out be it when dealing with a wife beater or when imposing his authority on someone. And he makes you smile because when it comes to women, such as the sexy Lilly Summers there is almost a sense of well we can have sex but I don't care if we don't, it is simply brilliant.
What this all boils down to is that "Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise" is another good movie which whilst having a good story works because of what Tom Selleck brings to the movie, a restrained charisma which makes you smile without being comical.
Tags: Jesse Stone Movies