The Renegades: A Charlie Hood Novel #2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Some say that outlaws no longer exist, that the true spirit of the American West died with the legendary bandits of pulp novels and bedtime stories. Charlie Hood knows that nothing could be further from the truth. These days he patrols vast stretches of the new American West, not on horseback but in his cruiser. The outlaws may not carry six-shooters, but they're strapped all the same.
Along the desolate and dusty roads of this new frontier, Hood prefers to ride alone, and he prefers to ride at night. At night, his headlights illuminate only the patch of pavement ahead of him: all the better to hide from the demons -and the dead outlaws - receding in his rearview mirror.
But he doesn't always get what he wants - certainly not when he's assigned a partner named Terry Laws, a county veteran who everyone calls "Mr. Wonderful". And not when Laws is shot dead in the passenger seat and Hood is left to bear witness to someone who knew that Mr. Wonderful didn't always live up to his nickname.
As he sets out to find the gunman, Hood knows one thing for sure: The West is a state of mind, one where the bad guys sometimes wear white hats - and the good guys seek justice in whatever shade of gray they can find it.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 43 minutes|
|Author||T. Jefferson Parker|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 10, 2009|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #237,695 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#15,899 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
#64,273 in Suspense Thrillers
Top reviews from the United States
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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."