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The Border Lords (Charlie Hood Novels) Hardcover – January 11, 2011

Book 4 of 5 in the Charlie Hood Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Robert Crais and T. Jefferson Parker: Author One-on-One

In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors Robert Crais and T. Jefferson Parker and asked them to interview each other.

Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Joe Pike and Elvis Cole novels and the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. Crais lives in the Santa Monica mountains with his wife, three cats, and many thousands of books.

Read on to see Robert Crais's questions for T. Jefferson Parker, or turn the tables to see what Parker asked Crais.

Robert Crais Crais: Though you've revisited characters earlier in your career, you've mostly written standalone novels. But now with The Border Lords, this is, what, your fourth Charlie Hood novel in a row? This is great news because I love to read about Charlie, but I'm curious why you love to write him. What is it about Charlie Hood that brings you back to him again and again?

Parker: Glad you like him, Bob. Yeah, it’s Charlie’s fourth book and I’m going to do two more. I like Charlie because he’s a good reliable witness to events, and he always tries to do the right thing, and thus far in the series, he’s constantly over-matched. Which is different than being hapless. I love an underdog. You’d think the fact that Charlie is not only a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy and a member of a federal ATF task force would make him very much the overdog. But he's not. Charlie’s world in The Border Lords is Mexico, where the law is weak and wickedness prevails. He’s the little guy. But he’s smart, principled and brave, too.

Crais: We've been at this game a long time. Between us, that's a lot of crime novels, bro. You ever consider writing something completely different? I know you're an avid fisherman. Ever fantasize about writing the Jeff Parker version of The Old Man and the Sea?

Parker: I do think about writing something other than crime novels, then my nasty little imagination kicks in and I’m off on another crime! I got to write a “fishing mystery” that was published earlier this year, so that was a nice compromise. But even that turned criminal. I remember a birthday party I went to when I was seven years old. They had a whole bunch of costumes you could choose from – you could be a cowboy or an Indian or a Martian or whatever. Just dress up and wreak havoc with the other little savages. So what did little Jeffy pick? I picked a devil costume. Man, what does that say?

Crais: Pbooks or Ebooks? Do you care?

Parker: I hate e-books and electronic reading gadgets and wish they’d all go away. But of course they won’t. I also think books are going to be around a lot longer than some people think/want. They’ll be secretly trafficked by unrepentant book lovers, a full-on black market. Want the new Bob Crais in hardcover? A thousand bucks, man. Sold!

T. Jefferson Parker Crais: You and I have both had a film adapted from our novels, me with Hostage, and you with Laguna Heat. I tend to avoid Hollywood's overtures, but a lot of our writer friends like Mike Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Harlan Coben have allowed their work to be developed with pretty good results. What's your take on Hollywood? Any chance we'll see Charlie Hood at the movies?

Parker: Charlie’s under an option right now with Lionsgate, on behalf of Carl Franklin, whose work I love. My whole experience with Laguna Heat was positive, and I’d like to see another TJP movie. But I feel protective of Charlie Hood, also. I wouldn’t let him go to just anybody. In fact I’ve demanded to star as Charlie if the movie gets made, which my agent says is a possible deal-killer. No, seriously, I’d love to see a good movie.

Crais: Tell the truth, Jeff--what's your favorite snack food when you're writing?

Parker: Used to be cigarettes! But now it’s anything containing peanut butter. Those little orange Keebler crackers with the peanut-butter between ‘em? Oh, man. Start me up. On to the next chapter!

(Photo of Robert Crais © exleyfotoinc)
(Photo of T. Jefferson Parker © Rebecca Lawson)

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Parker's adrenaline-fueled fourth thriller featuring L.A. sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood (after Iron River), Hood, who's still on loan to the ATF, and his ATF partners are watching a house in the border town of Buenavista, Calif., occupied by four young gunmen of the North Baja Cartel--and Hood's ATF agent friend, Sean Ozburn, who's operating undercover as a meth and gun dealer. When Ozburn goes rogue and fatally shoots the four cartel members, Hood knows he has to bring Ozburn in. Parker skillfully blends Hood's pursuit of the increasingly erratic Ozburn, who approaches a powerful cartel leader about buying the latest gun sensation, the Love 32, with that of L.A. deputy Bradley Jones, a man with connections both to Hood's past and the world of the cartels. The porousness of the U.S.-Mexico border and the ease with which guns, drugs, and killers pass back and forth is nowhere better illustrated than in Parker's white-hot series. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Charlie Hood Novels
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952008
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of 20 crime novels, including Edgar Award-winners Silent Joe and California Girl. Parker's next work is a literary novel, Full Measure, to be published in October. He lives with his family in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

Not Parkers best work by far.
I don't want to give away too much but haven't you ever wondered what it is like for cops embedded with bad guys?
George Sand
Rambling, disjointed, repetitious, too many characters and too little character development.
Book lover -Philadelphia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The only thing remotely predictable about Parker's novel is ATF Agent Charlie Hood's reaction when undercover agent Sean Ozburn turns rogue on his assignment to infiltrate the Baja Cartel. What has gone wrong, or why Sean is suddenly filled with messianic fervor remains an open question, but Hood is duty-bound to bring his man back from the field. Against a background of violent drug cartels vying for purchase in LA and Sean's superhuman sense of mission, Hood is faced with resistance, from Sean, who anticipates an important deal going down soon and from his wife, Selia, whose loyalty clearly remains with her husband. The relationship between Sean and Selia is a pivotal element in the plot, one that baffles and confuses as Parker manipulates his characters and events.

Early on a bizarre thread weaves through the familiar terrain of ATF vs. cartel, a twist that jolts the reader from time to time with the addition of a sly character too conversant with all of the players. Parker's writing is hard-hitting and gritty, but with an injection of libidinous distraction that is either over-the-top or brilliant. With much emphasis on drop-dead gorgeous women and macho agents, Parker makes an end run around logic only to deliver a neat package in the end, one touched with malevolence and promising future problems for Hood to untangle. Luan Gaines/2011.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Conrad Lanoue on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Parker's previous books and looked forward to the release of this latest effort. Unfortunately, this was Parker's dud. In my opinion, Parker was on auto pilot when writing this book . There was no new character development except for Daisy the dog who turned out to be the most interesting character. The rest of the cast was lack luster at best, and the character Mike Finnegan is totally unbelievable. If I want to read fantasy, I will go to the Charlie Huston books for a real dose of the supernatural. I give all authors the benefit of the doubt on one clunker, but T. J. Parker needs to get back to his roots.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have read Parker's three previous Charlie Hood novels you'll probably be disappointed in this rambling, at times, who cares, hard to believe... not only for the vampire connection... but also the impunity in which returning character Bradley Jones now a young LASD Deputy... continues to do everything conceivably illegal under the sun... ranging from being a large dollar "mule" carrying money across the border for a drug cartel... being involved in gun running... setting up a slaughter of competitive drug cartels... all while being a Deputy and close acquaintance of Charlie Hood.

Meanwhile, the now thirty-two-year-old Hood, is still on loan to the ATF from the LASD for operation "Blowdown". ATF Agent Sean Ozburn aka "Gravas"... another close and valued friend of Charlie's... has been undercover in a Mexican drug cartel gun-drug-murder-sting operation for way too long. He goes "off the reservation" as he murders a safe house (that he owns and rents to the cartel) full of young Mexican hitmen. Charlie and his ATF compatriots try to track down the at large Sean... through his sexy wife Seliah. In an agonizingly long and drawn out expose' of increasingly bizarre... yet similar symptoms... the reader is forced to endure Sean's and Seliah's... fevers... sweats... increase in strength... innumerable orgasms... aversion to light... aversion to mirrors... aversion to water... on... and on... an on... Ad Nauseam. And throughout this monotonous... repetitive dissertation... is the famous *LOVE 32* *MACHINE PISTOL WITH NOISE SUPPRESSOR AND EXTENDED MAGAZINE AND TELESCOPIC HANDLE*. The creation of this unique weapon was originated in a prior Hood book, and in my opinion if a prospective reader hadn't read the prior book, a lot of the impact is lost.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Speir on May 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I thought Parker was going to be my "new" mystery writer. I tend to discover these writers late, find a good book, then read all their previous writings. Had I read this one first, it would clearly have been my last.

I can't add much to the other 1 star reviews, because I agree with all the bad points. Summarizing adjectives: disjointed, rambling, weak plotted, surreal characters, poorly edited, etc. I do find myself wondering what book the 5 star reviewers were reading. Of course, they could all be from the publisher, or Jefferson's family. Even the dog's character was weak--BAD DOG.

I would feel cheated if actually bought this book for $12 or $14 plus shipping. I got it from my library. They don't care.

Seriously, Mr. Parker, you are better than this.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. H Mitchum on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I look forward to Parker's new arrivals as they have always insured several hours of good reading, not this one, it is bad from the first chapter and goes down hill quickly. When he spend more than a few chapters of two characters in bed, on the floor, against the wall, Peting the dog whilst having sex, that pretty much ended it for me. I will admit that I wonder what kind of "enhancement" he was using...3 days with a raging h@@@ o@. Only in Parker's mind.

Several reviewers revered to this as a "police procedural"...what police I wonder? Moscow, perhaps.

I am in a snit right now, as two by favorites have just come out with such clunkers, Parker and Lehane.
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