Top positive review
A Morality Tale Of The Modern West
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2009
"The Renegades" is a sequel to T. Jefferson Parker's "L.A. Outlaws" and continues the saga of Charlie Hood. In "The Renegades", Parker continues his signature stylings that have made him a must read author in the suspense thriller genre. Believe me, if you are not a fan already, Parker deserves your attention. His work is so naturally fluid that the reader never stops to think about plot, characterization, or pacing until the novel is over... the reader just flows with the story until suddenly realizing it is over.
"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."