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The Renegades (Charlie Hood Novel) Mass Market Paperback – February 2, 2010
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Deputy Sheriff Charlie Hood cruises the dusty backroads of the new American West. But when his partner is shot dead and Hood is drafted to find the killer, the investigation takes him to places he never wanted to go-where there's no clear line between good and evil.
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"T. Jefferson Parker has burgled the crumbling palace of Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration." —The Wall Street Journal
“Parker, the winner of three Edgar awards for crime fiction, again delivers a tale that is not only well-plotted and suspenseful, but subtle, surprising and endearingly perverse.” —Washington Post
"T. Jefferson Parker has carved out a niche for himself as the Hemingway of thriller writers...His writing is a wonder to behold." —Providence Sunday Journal
“A spectacular close a crime series that obliterated the boundaries of the genre.” —BookReporter
"If you're interested in the best of today's crime fiction, [Parker's] someone you should read." —The Washington Post
"Parker’s superb new thriller continues the tale of Charlie Hood, the Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who fell hard for beautiful gangster Allison Murrieta in L.A. Outlaws (2008). Deputy Hood now patrols the Antelope Valley, a desert region north of Los Angeles where still nights and stark beauty provide a refuge from his past (though he still hasn’t come to terms with Murrieta’s death). But Hood’s new beat has a breed of heinous criminals all its own. When his partner, Terry Laws, known by fellow officers as Mr. Wonderful, is gunned down in the passenger seat of their patrol car, Hood once again finds himself among the dark-hearted and the damned. It turns out that Laws wasn’t such a model cop after all. He and a former partner were involved in a lucrative operation running drugs south of the border. Then Laws found a conscience—a little too late. Two-time Edgar winner Parker vividly evokes the spirit of the Wild West, where bad guys prosper and good guys seek vengeance—at a price. He delivers steady suspense and a cast of damaged characters led by Hood, whose days crackle with moral conundrums and bone-deep regret. Approaching the novel’s climax, Parker writes: “a wiggle of fear came up Hood’s back and crawled across his scalp.” Readers will likely find themselves rattled—and riveted—too." --Booklist (starred review)
"Parker could well be the best crime writer working out of Southern Caifornia." —Chicago Tribune
"The Charlie Hood novels are nothing less than addictive." —Tucson Citizen
"The most groundbreaking crime series in decades." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"This is gripping literary entertainment with a point." —Los Angeles Times
"Some of the finest writing you'll ever read." —Chicago Sun-Times
About the Author
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (February 2, 2010)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0451227549
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451227546
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.3 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #9,278 in Historical Thrillers (Books)
- #14,995 in Westerns (Books)
- #22,288 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Action Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Renegades is Mr. Parker's newest hardcover novel and brings back Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Charlie Hood, who first appeared in L.A. Outlaws. Still recovering from his tragic love affair with outlaw, Alison Murietta, and the arrest of a crooked cop, Hood has been reassigned to Antelope Valley, where he patrols the lonely roads by himself at night. He doesn't mind. Hood likes being alone and driving for long periods of time. Everything, however, changes on the night he's partnered with Deputy Terry Laws and they have to investigate the report of drug use and loud music at a housing project with a couple of employees from the Housing Authority. It turns out to be a set up to get Deputy Laws out there so that he can be murdered. While he's sitting in the patrol car, the assailant appears from of nowhere and kills him with a machine gun. Charlie Hood barely manages to survive the onslaught and makes him downright angry that he couldn't prevent the killing of another police officer.
Because Hood is determined to find the killer of his partner, Internal Affairs taps him to help with the investigation. They want him to find out why Laws was executed and if there's anything in the dead officer's past to warrant his death. It doesn't take Hood long to find out that Terry Laws was living well beyond his means on a deputy's salary. In fact, he was bringing home an extra seven thousand dollars a week This fact leads Hood to take a closer look at Laws' former partner, a reservist named Coleman Draper, who's handsome, intelligent, polite, and also one the most evil men Hood has ever encountered. Draper, who may have murdered his parents and siblings in a house fire years before, has a unique way of manipulating those around him in order to get what he wants. He talked Terry into murdering two drug couriers so that they could take their spots and make some real money.
Hood is going to have his hands full once Draper realizes that he's under suspicion and then seeks to kill the one person who might be able to bring him down. It's going to be a cat-and-mouse game with the loser paying the ultimate price--death!
T. Jefferson Parker, like authors Michael Connelly and Robert Crais, knows the Los Angeles County area like the back of his hand and brings it alive with his magical prose, enabling the reader to feel as if he's actually there in sunny Southern California, dodging bullets. Parker also creates rather interesting characters, especially with regards to the villains, who always seem to breath and live like people in the real world. They're always human with chinks in their personalities that make them fun to read about. Even the secondary characters are well drawn out and never boring. This is what makes Mr. Parker's novels such a treat to read. He takes you into L.A. or Orange County, and you get to ride with the police for a few days to find out what life is really like in the underbelly of society. And, the heroes are people with everyday problems just like you and I, so they never step into the realm of not being believable.
All of this makes The Renegades an enjoyable read and Charlie Hood is a character you'd like to see more of, especially with one of Parker's earlier creations like Joe Trona, who appeared in Silent Joe.
"The Renegades" has a more convoluted plot than some of Parker's work and it is told through two separate POV's in alternating chapters; yet, this device just helps fill in the back story as the plot unfolds. Charlie Hood lost something internally when Allison Murietta, his great love, died in "L.A.Outlaws." He has transferred from L.A. to the windswept and increasingly dangerous deserts in the Antelope Valley region. He chooses to be alone as he drives constantly reviewing his past and wondering of his future. He does maintain contact with Allison's son, Bradley Jones, who hangs with a dangerous crowd, has great potential, and is destined to either enter law enforcement or spend a life confronting it.
A random pairing places Hood on a patrol with Terry Laws, known as "Mr. Wonderful" for his community service and well nurtured image. In a blast of unexpected gunfire, Laws is seemingly "executed" while Hood is allowed to live, perhaps as a witness. Hood is quickly inducted into Internal Affairs, a position from which he can legally hunt the killer. He begins by investigating Laws and soon discovers that Laws and his reservist partner, Coleman Draper, may not be all that they project.
In quick fashion, "The Renegades" becomes a modern morality tale positioned in the new west and featuring drug running cartels, money laundering schemes, and brutality that will sober the most jaundiced reader. There are double crosses, triple crosses, and, of course, dirty cops to be revealed. The pacing is excellent for the most part and, as usual, Parker is outstanding in his characterizations. There is some added suspense as to where Bradley Jones will land as far as his commitment to the law and his future. I unequivocally recommend "The Renegades" to any fan of thrillers and suggest the new reader might start first with "L.A. Outlaws."