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Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise

Review: written Sep 2009

Selleck continues to shine

Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise

Tom Selleck returns in the third of the series of TV movies based on Jesse Stone, the dogged and flawed small town police chief, as written by Robert Parker.

This time round, the story revolves around a young teenager's murder, following her badly decomposed body being discovered 3 weeks after her disappearance. As before, the story is told in a nuanced and unflinching style, with atmospheric bleak music and dark cinematography. What makes these movies so satisfying is the sense that they are so believable - whether it is the matter of fact way he deals with the crimes, or the sideline plots of domestic violence, or just Jesse Stone's inherent flaws which make him believably human. He drinks. He still harbours a little flame for his ex-wife. The action when it happens is sparse and final.

Previous entries have been solid 4 stars reaching towards the 5th... this one struggles a little to get that 4th star, having a few too many familiar elements from before - the woman of the episode, to act as a foil to Stone's character issues, the last minute tete a tete with the who of the whodunnit, wrapping things up just a little too succinctly. Having said that, it earns its place with the others, primarily thanks to Selleck who just gets better and better as he ages.

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