THE LAST GOOD GUY is the third installment in the Roland Ford series. Roland is an ex-Marine, ex-policeman, current PI who lives (like his creator, Jeff Parker) in Fallbrook, CA. He lives in a compound with a set of casitas housing some friends and relatives who constitute something of an ensemble cast. One is ex-CIA (probably) with a secret past and some lethal instincts.
Here Roland is hired by a woman named Penelope Rideout who wants him to find her sister, Daley. Their parents are dead and Penelope is Daley's legal guardian. Daley is barely a tween-ager who has an interest in older men. When one is found with a bullet in his forehead Roland realizes that this is going to be much more than a simple missing persons case.
In the course of his investigation he will meet a preacher whose skills and libido match that of Elmer Gantry, the head of a white supremacy network, his addled heiress wife and a security company whose acronym veils one of the story's more interesting mysteries. We visit the San Onofre nuclear power plant (now decommissioned; it actually exists) and a date farm (i.e. a farm that grows dates, not a hayride destination), a posh La Jolla restaurant, Nixon's old stamping grounds in San Clemente and some nice surfing sites. A local resident, as noted above, Parker knows whereof he speaks and conjures up a vivid setting, replete with local flora and some interesting fauna (e.g. a falcon who will solve any pigeon or seagull problems you might be experiencing in a single power dive).
The story is excellent, the characters fascinating. The plot rhythms are precise and as smooth as polished marble. This is TJP's 25th novel; I've been with him from the get-go, with LAGUNA HEAT. He is a master story teller and THE LAST GOOD GUY is top flight material.
The sex and violence are largely PG; you need not read the Roland Ford novels in order, though you will probably want to do so. If you have not yet discovered Jeff Parker's crime fiction you have many treats in store.