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Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise
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Once a Los Angeles homicide detective, Police Chief Jesse Stone now presides over the quiet, seaside village of Paradise, Massachusetts. When the facts don't add up in a brutal Boston-area murder case, Jesse opens an investigation filled with surprises, unlikely suspects and grave danger. Though it's widely believed the murder was committed by an incarcerated serial killer, Jesse suspects another killer is at large and is hell-bent on bringing him to justice.

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Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise online movie review - Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) volunteers for homicide detecting work

"Lost in Paradise" (2015) was a pleasure to watch. I've seen and reviewed all the other movies in this series, so I had to see this the most recent one too.

The plot is a murder mystery, but the story and movie are really about more than that. Paradise has become virtually crime-free and Jesse Stone is restless, so he volunteers to work for the Boston police on an open homicide case, the Boston Ripper's apparent fourth killing. The killer of three women confessed and was jailed, but he says that he did not kill a fourth victim. Stone believes him and systematically goes about trying to develop evidence. The details of the plot make it clear almost immediately that someone else knew the serial killer's m.o. and adopted it to hide a fourth murder. But this doesn't dawn on Jesse until quite late in the story; this plot is weak.

The movie is far more interested in bringing Jesse Stone back for his many fans and going through the familiar paces. These paces are comforting, enjoyable and entrancing, but they do not break any new ground. It's really a composite re-playing of what came before in the first 8 episodes. It's likable because Tom Selleck is so masterful in the part. It's likable because of the style of dialog, which is on the curt side. It's likable because Jesse is so sympathetic to the young women in distress, and the dog also is adorable. The location makes it likable. The supporting cast is strong too.

Expect just enough of a story around which to fashion the usual likable elements. These can be quite moving at times and that offers hope to the human situation, because in other respects the main character cannot shake his own personal demons. That's the attraction of this series. A flawed hero still manages to do his job and accomplish something, even helping people, even if the subplot is disconnected from the main plot entirely.

Will there be more Jesse Stone stories? One more is supposed to be made under the deal with Hallmark that Selleck negotiated. Will he go with the tried and true? In a way, he has to. But this episode in a number of ways at least showed a dark side to police operations. Selleck was mildly threatened at one point by another vehicle, but that was not resolved. Where will Selleck take the next story?

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