Plot: Jesse investigates the grim works of a serial killer in Boston and becomes concerned with a wayward teen in Paradise.

Review: Inherently depressed and without anything to do in the idyllic town of Paradise after cleaning up the scum, Police Chief Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck in a role he was born to play and keep playing) goes to Boston to ask the Boston PD if they have any open cases no one wants to investigate so that he can get right on that. He picks a strange case that everyone seems to think is basically over and out: The Boston Ripper case. Four prostitutes were brutally dissected and murdered (in that order) about a year ago, and the serial killer (played by an unrecognizable Luke Perry) casually admitted to only three of those, despite the fact that all four were nearly identical. Behind bars and perfectly content with his “work,” the killer still refuses to admit to that fourth slaying, which intrigues Jesse Stone, and so he begins his investigation.

The path leads him to the fourth victim’s forlorn dog, which has been scheduled for termination, and so he adopts the poor animal (he loves sad dogs, he sure does) and literally every clue he attains to the slain woman’s death is because the dog “speaks to him.” By studying and observing the dog’s behavior, he slowly but surely gets to understand that the woman’s killer is still on the loose – and what’s even more intriguing is that the killer is a cop.

The ninth entry in the ongoing movie series that gives Tom Selleck perhaps the greatest role of his career, Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (at a quick 89 minutes) has the usually intriguing mystery these films revolve around, but what’s always made these films so great is how they’re written and the way all of the interesting characters (both good guys and shady guys) interact with Stone himself, who moves through all sorts of places and locations to get to the bottom of whatever he’s after.

While he struggles with his alcoholism and his deep depression, he always manages to save lives (in this one he saves a young, abused girl, and an ex-call girl), all in the midst of his journey to some kind of forlorn, cast-off redemption for heroes that have broken souls. This is a vital, necessary series of films, and it’s a match made in heaven for star Selleck, director Robert Harmon (The Hitcher), and the works of Robert B. Parker, who created the character in a series of novels. Thank goodness there will be at least one more film in the series, and thank goodness that Sony is still releasing them onto DVD.

Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise is out on DVD now.

About the Author

david j. moore

david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.