Stone, Jonathan 1956–
Stone, Jonathan 1956–
Born March 15, 1956, in New York, NY; son of Marshall A. (a director of television commercials) and Judith Stone; married; wife's name Sue; children: two. Education: Yale University, graduated 1978. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, paddle tennis, skiing.
Novelist and advertising executive.
Scholar of the House in Fiction Writing, Yale University; John Hubbard Curtis Prize for Best Imaginative Writing, Yale University.
"JULIAN PALMER" SERIES
The Cold Truth, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
The Heat of Lies, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Breakthrough, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Parting Shot, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Jonathan Stone spent years working on literary novels before publishing the thriller The Cold Truth, which he wrote on his laptop during his daily train commute into Manhattan. The novel introduces Julian Palmer, a female police officer. Stone has since gone on to write further books in the series, including The Heat of Lies and Breakthrough.
In The Cold Truth, Stone introduces readers to Julian Palmer, an attractive young woman with an unusual first name. It certainly confounds her new employer, the veteran police chief of Canaanville, New York, who accepts her application for an internship having assumed that she was a man. "Bear" Edwards grudgingly accepts her help in untangling the most difficult murder case of his career, the brutal death of a waitress. However, he makes the experience as difficult as he can, creating a tension between the two that takes on a sexual dimension.
Reviewers were pleased with Stone's development of his characters and plot. In the New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio remarked that Stone "plays cruel and cunning mind games" with his protagonist in a story that is "bone-chilling." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book "a stunning, risk-taking first novel that mystery fans will celebrate." A Kirkus Reviews writer credited the author with manipulating his characters with a "a magician's skill and lion tamer's nerve" and with writing "a chilling little gem with the ferocious logic of a Beethoven quartet."
In The Heat of Lies, Palmer has become the ranking officer in Troy, New York. She is now put in the uncomfortable position of accepting help from Bear, from whom she once fled during a murderous rampage. Bear now appears after serving time in jail and having avoided a murder conviction. Only Julian's determination to solve the murder of a local businessman persuades her to involve him in the case. In a review for the Houston Chronicle, P.G. Koch noted that "a general sleight-of-hand ethos prevails" in the story, but enjoyed it as "a dizzying ride."
A third novel, Breakthrough, follows Stone's protagonist, who, while taking a break from homicide to help raise a child, signs on to assist in an ordinary insurance scam investigation. The investigation proves to be anything but ordinary, leading from an eccentric inventor in the New Mexico desert to the canyons of Wall Street, and revolving around a mysterious and ambitious female investment broker.
Booklist reviewer Jenny McLarin called Breakthrough "the best yet in this too-little-known series." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that "the delicious twists are satisfying in the end."
Stone's fourth novel, Parting Shot, is not part of the "Julian Palmer" series, but features television reporter Sam Stevens, who is covering the story of the killing of residents of Webster County by a sniper who has so far assassinated nine people. Sam sees the killings as an opportunity to rid himself of his intolerable marriage and wife Denise, who is emotionally manipulating their son, Tommy. Readers are aware of his plan early in the story, but it is the plot twists that prevent a perception of the final conclusion. Booklist reviewer Davit Pitt commented that readers familiar with Stone's previous books "will see that he has jumped up a couple of literary notches."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2003, Jenny McLarin, review of Breakthrough, p. 71; March 15, 2006, David Pitt, review of Parting Shot, p. 32.
Houston Chronicle, March 4, 2001, P.G. Koch, review of The Heat of Lies, p. 11.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1999, review of The Cold Truth, p. 492; August 15, 2003, review of Breakthrough, p. 1049; May 1, 2006, review of Parting Shot, p. 442.
New York Times Book Review, August 8, 1999, Marilyn Stasio, review of The Cold Truth, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly June 21, 1999, review of The Cold Truth, p. 59; September 8, 2003, review of Breakthrough, p. 59; April 10, 2006, review of Parting Shot, p. 47.
Jonathan Stone Home Page,http://jonathanstonebooks.com (March 16, 2003).