This is a serviceable detective thriller about the police chief of a small coastal town near Boston. The protagonist is an alcoholic who blew his career as a homicide detective in L.A. and his marriage, too. He's not a complete loner; he still meets his ex-wife frequently and starts a relationship with the head of the local high school...which interested me: The parts of the book where it is demonstrated that Stone has a life beyond his job mostly distract from rather than advance the plot. It's more realistic than a complete loner but slows things down. So maybe that's why the loner is such a cliche of detective fiction; having a real life gets in the way of solving crimes which is what people who read detective fiction (presumably) want to read about.