It is unusual to see a faithful adaptation of one of your favorite books. The director and the producers get involved and they always want to “improve” it in some way that makes you hate the movie. The fact of the matter is that pulp or genre fiction usually adapts well. The types of directors and actors drawn to it just like to tell a good story. They are not all up in their artsy fartsy heads about it.
Two of the best book to screen adaptions that I have seen came from the works of one of my favorite authors and role models Elmore Leonard. “Get Shorty” was an almost perfect rendition of his novel. Of course “Justified” was a sublime manifestation of his Raylan Givens stories. Elmore Leonard and his son worked very closely with the production and actually wrote several episodes. In fact one of his last books contained a couple of stories about Marshal Givens that actually used new characters that originated from the TV series. That is quite unusual. You know. That TV writers influence the author of the original work. Talent will out.
I was very disappointed in the various video interpretation of Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” novels. The original TV series with Robert Ulrich was a good effort but really missed the boat. The various TV movies really sucked. Joe Mantegna is not any reasonable embodiment of the protagonist in those novels.
The series of Jesse Stone movies with Tom Selleck were excellent if a little dreary. I think they thought film noir means depressed or something. Still it was a worthy effort and they should get kudos. It is the only filming of Parkers work that is worth a shit.