For fans of Michael Connelly and CJ Box, from New York Times bestseller and Edgar-award winner T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Room of White Fire, comes the explosive finale in his Charlie Hood series, which will bring together the destinies of three men caught between light and darkness, and now features an excerpt from his upcoming novel The Room of White Fire.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Charlie Hood is attached to the ATF, working undercover on the illegal arms trade that flows across the U.S.-Mexico border. The sparkle of the diamond fillings he wears in his left canine distracts his task force targets and is often the first step toward a long stay behind bars.
Meanwhile, Bradley Jones—sheriff’s deputy, employee of the Baja Cartel, and son of the love of Charlie’s life—is expecting a son of his own. Bradley, supposedly descended from the famed Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, has reaped the rewards of his treachery, keeping a hoard of cash and jewelry in a secret lair on his property.
Charlie knows Bradley’s secrets, all of them; the question is what he’ll do with the information. But he still has to contend with the devilish Mike Finnegan, who flits in and out of the lives of his friends, knows things he should not know, is seemingly immortal, and delights in the havoc he wreaks in the orbits of everyone he touches....
All three are about to meet. But all will not survive....
Edgar-winner Parker's complex, ambitious, sixth and final Charlie Hood novel (after 2012's The Jaguar) finds the affable, tireless deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office working undercover for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Posing as an arms dealer named Charlie Hooper, Hood is trying to stop the flow of guns between Southern California and Mexico and locate the elusive Mike Finnegan, a mixture of Professor Moriarty and Doctor Faustus who featured prominently in The Jaguar. Meanwhile, Bradley Jones continues to work both sides of the fence as a deputy with the sheriff's office and as a courier for the Baja Cartel, while trying to reconcile with his pregnant wife, Erin. And Clint Wampler, a wannabe gun runner, is looking to make a score. As usual, Parker combines an artfully constructed plot with memorable prose (e.g., "the dusty burnt breath of a space heater"). This highly impressive thriller demonstrates how genre fiction can take on substantial themes in an entertaining and provocative way.
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His best yet
On The Border
This book picks up from "The Jaguar". The Byzantine, looping plots and sub-plots and lush, intricate detail of "The Jaguar" evoked the surreal aspects of Mexico, a place where it is easy to believe in angels, miracles, devils, evil, and the eternal battle between the light, and soul-crushing darkness. In comparison, this book feels dry, brittle. Perhaps the trick of this book is that it conjures the barren desert landscape and the struggle to live when SoCal and life on the border leave something to be desired. It is less a story of redemption and more a tale of ambiguity.