January 22, 2012 |
Raylan A Novel Elmore Leonard William Morrow: 261 pp., $26.99 The Jaguar A Charlie Hood Novel T. Jefferson Parker Dutton: 359 pp., $26.95 A watermelon picker, Vince Majestyk. A bail bondsman, Max Cherry. A bank robber, Jack Foley. A mean hombre , John Russell. A deadeye lawman, Bob Valdez. The villainous heroes and heroic villains of Elmore Leonard's imagination have come in countless forms - some, such as these, brought to life in motion pictures by Charles Bronson, Robert Forster, George Clooney, Paul Newman and Burt Lancaster, good good guy/bad guy portrayers all. Ordered at gunpoint to identify my favorite Leonard do-badders of 40 books and beyond, I might need to score it a tie between Chili Palmer, a loan shark-turned-Hollywood player in "Get Shorty," and a newspaper reporter from its sequel, "Be Cool," who turns up in the last chapter, "Mike Downey of the Los Angeles Times.
May 6, 2001 |
A pro, that's what T. Jefferson Parker is. His plots are intricate, keenly crafted, clearly mapped; his characters complicated, yet consistent; their dialogue subordinate to fast-moving action. Clues and misdirections are fairly sown about, puzzles are plausibly unraveled, the narrative world is eventually restored to order even when, as in "Silent Joe," its prelapsarian state is habitual disorder. Many mysteries turn about loss and grief often, though not always, caused by murder.
June 23, 1996 |
There's something irresistible about the thought of kicking back on the sand at Newport or Doheny with a novel whose black heart offers passage to the dark side of the eternally cheerful Orange County facade. Opening with a rain-soaked corpse in a Costa Mesa parking lot, "The Triggerman's Dance" holds promise as the perfect counterbalance to a sunny summer day. Rebecca Harris, an intern at the Orange County Journal, has just been shot through the heart from 300 yards.
May 18, 2003 |
The world we live in is precarious: Security, status and human relations are fragile; even personality is fungible, and April Smith is here to demonstrate these quiddities. In "Good Morning, Killer," Special Agent Ana Grey, whom we first met in "North of Montana," sticks close to her old stamping ground. She works on the disappearance of a 15-year-old Santa Monica girl, Juliana, which soon turns into a kidnapping-torture-and-rape situation.
January 19, 2011
The Border Lords A Charlie Hood Novel T. Jefferson Parker Dutton: 373 pp., $26.95
August 5, 1990
Do we really need the silly, parochial posturing of T. Jefferson Parker ("Behind the Orange Curtain") and Steve Harvey ("From the Belly of the Beast")? There are some of us who like the best of both worlds. Dare we proudly call ourselves Southern Californians? DOUGLAS MUIR Newport Beach
July 15, 1993
I have enjoyed reading T. Jefferson Parker's column in OC Live! for some months. How refreshing to read his analysis of "Jurassic Park" and "Last Action Hero." I did not dignify Arnold's latest by paying cold cash to see it, having avoided his other movies. Parker's own monster experience with the homesick kingsnake was hilarious. CAROL RAPSON Laguna Beach