Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill

A Jesse Stone Novel

Book 18
Sold by Penguin
2
Free sample

The opioid epidemic has reached Paradise, and Police Chief Jesse Stone must rush to stop the devastation in the latest thriller in Robert B. Parker's New York Times-bestselling series.

When a popular high school cheerleader dies of a suspected heroin overdose, it becomes clear that the opioid epidemic has spread even to the idyllic town of Paradise. It will be up to police chief Jesse Stone to unravel the supply chain and unmask the criminals behind it, and the investigation has a clear epicenter: Paradise High School. Home of the town's best and brightest future leaders and its most vulnerable down-and-out teens, it's a rich and bottomless market for dealers out of Boston looking to expand into the suburbs.

But when it comes to drugs, the very people Jesse is trying to protect are often those with the most to lose. As he digs deeper into the case, he finds himself battling self-interested administrators, reluctant teachers, distrustful schoolkids, and overprotective parents . . . and at the end of the line are the true bad guys, the ones with a lucrative business they'd kill to protect.
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About the author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring Chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010. Reed Farrel Coleman, author of the New York Times-bestselling Robert B. Parker's Colorblind, has been called a "hard-boiled poet" by NPR's Maureen Corrigan. He has published twenty-eight previous novels. A four-time winner of the Shamus Award, he has also won the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Audie awards. Coleman lives with his family on Long Island.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Sep 10, 2019
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780399574986
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Nominated for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel

From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author comes a gritty, atmospheric new series about the other side of Long Island, far from the wealth of the Hamptons, where real people live—and die. 
 
Gus Murphy thought he had the world all figured out. A retired Suffolk County cop, Gus had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. In the course of a single deadly moment, his family is blown apart and he is transformed from a man who believes he understands everything into a man who understands nothing.

Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver for the run-down hotel in which he has a room, Gus has settled into a mindless, soulless routine that barely keeps his grief at arm’s length. But Gus’s comfortable waking trance comes to an end when ex-con Tommy Delcamino asks him for help. Four months earlier, Tommy’s son T.J.’s battered body was discovered in a wooded lot, yet the Suffolk County PD doesn’t seem interested in pursuing the killers. In desperation, Tommy seeks out the only cop he ever trusted—Gus Murphy.

Gus reluctantly agrees to see what he can uncover. As he begins to sweep away the layers of dust that have collected over the case during the intervening months, Gus finds that Tommy was telling the truth. It seems that everyone involved with the late T.J Delcamino—from his best friend, to a gang enforcer, to a mafia capo, and even the police—has something to hide, and all are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep it hidden. It’s a dangerous favor Gus has taken on as he claws his way back to take a place among the living, while searching through the sewers for a killer.
August 6th, 1998: Moe Prager, a former cop, waits to call his daughter for her 18th birthday. In the midst of an ugly family meltdown, Prager is desperate to find a way to make sense of what has caused his once-happy family to implode. As he waits, however, it is Prager who receives a call that might not only solve a case that has haunted him and his wife for twenty years, but might also supply the glue to patch his family back together.

December 8th, 1977: Patrick Maloney, a supposedly popular college student, walks out of a Manhattan nightspot into oblivion. It’s no wonder Maloney’s disappearance barely registers on the radar screen. Son of Sam strikes. Elvis is dead. It’s the Sex Pistols vs. the BeeGees, Studio 54 and the Dirt Lounge, est and yin/yang, gas shortages, Quaaludes, pot and polyester, Plato’s Retreat, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the neutron bomb.

Moe Prager, a cop forced into early retirement by injury, certainly hadn’t noticed Patrick Maloney’s disappearance. But when Prager’s ex-partner calls with an offer to work on the case, Moe, wracked with self-doubt over his undistinguished career, signs on.

As Prager traces Patrick Maloney’s steps from his upstate home to his college dorm on Long Island, from the Tribeca bar where he was last seen to an old flame’s mansion on the Gold Coast, Moe realizes that nothing about the case, especially the details of the missing man’s life, is as it seems. Even the picture his parents gave the police was two years out of date. Why? What could his parents be hiding? What tortured secrets might have driven Patrick to create a public persona so different from his true self?

Questions multiply as Prager searches for Patrick in New York’s notorious punk underground, gay clubs and biker bars. Will Moe’s blossoming relationship with Patrick’s older sister help to bring Maloney back home or will it help to destroy any progress in the case? Can Moe overcome the roadblocks thrown in his path by dirty cops, corrupt politicians, and an ambitious reporter? And who are the truly ominous forces working behind the scenes to pull Prager into the very private hell of the Maloney family? Is Moe Prager running in circles or simply walking the perfect square?
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