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Cold Pursuit Hardcover – April 2, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (April 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786868058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868056
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Why isn't T. Jefferson Parker as famous as, say, James Patterson or Robert B. Parker? He's that good, and in some ways better. In Cold Pursuit, his 11th novel, San Diego homicide cop Tom McMichael finds himself investigating the bludgeoning death of Pete Braga, a prominent city patriarch who was also a blood enemy of the McMichael family. It's a complex case fraught with political and economic pressures, ugly family history, police corruption, and multiple red herrings, made more complex by McMichael's romantic attraction to a key suspect.

Parker's writing is a pleasure from the first sentence to the last: intelligent, often quietly poetic, cliché-free, and as crisp and dry as a good Pinot Gris. Here is the book's opening paragraph, which accomplishes several scene-setting tasks while pleasing both ear and brain:

That night the wind came hard off the Pacific, an El Nino event that would blow three inches of rain onto the roofs of San Diego. It was the first big storm of the season, early January and overdue. Palm fronds lifted with a plastic hiss and slapped against the windows of McMichael's apartment. The digitized chirp of his phone sounded ridiculous against the steady wind outside.

At times the book's richly complex plot gets confusing, and some sections aren't especially suspenseful. However, every page is absorbing and affecting, and the ending is a shocker. Peopled by a teeming cast of full-blooded characters and set in a San Diego so vivid you can smell the beach and the blood, Cold Pursuit may be Parker's subtlest, most satisfying tale yet. --Nicholas H. Allison

From Publishers Weekly

Parker, whose Silent Joe won an Edgar in 2001, can turn his hand to many genres: this one is a thriller with elements of family feud, and with a setting-San Diego in an unusually rainy winter-that is wonderfully moody. Homicide cop Tom McMichael is called in on the murder of wealthy old Pete Braga, a legendary local character who was once a tuna fisherman and now moves in the city's top financial circles. The problem is that his Portuguese family and McMichael's Irish one have a rivalry going back two generations. The details of that past, and the picture that emerges of two feisty old men locked into a bitter battle, are the brightest part of the book. The actual plot is more conventional: Braga's attractive nurse is an obvious suspect, so it is unwise for Tom to fall for her. Was the patriarch's killing related to local politics, or perhaps to his changed will? There are numerous red herrings-including a lurid subplot about a crooked cop and a very surprising commodity being smuggled across the border from Mexico-before the violent, rather improbable denouement. It's not unusual for a thriller to begin much better than it ends, but the more eloquent passages of Cold Pursuit make the routine ones doubly disappointing.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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

He tells a good story and keeps the pace moving at a good clip.
N. Sausser
Some people consider it as wasted time but I think you have to believe in the characters to get involved in the book.
John B. Goode
T. Jefferson Parker is a talented author and I look forward to reading more from him.
Beverly J. Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on April 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Edgar Award-winner Parker ("Silent Joe") manages to do something a little different each time out and his eleventh is a police procedural made personal by family feuding. When 84-year-old Portuguese tuna-boat captain turned Ford dealership tycoon, Pete Braga, is bludgeoned to death in his San Diego bayfront home, homicide cop Tom McMichael catches the case. Braga had killed McMichael's grandfather 50 years earlier and gotten off with self-defense. Braga's son was later brain damaged in a beating long ascribed to McMichael's father, but never proven. Then, years later, the feud derailed the first-love passion between McMichael and Braga's headstrong granddaughter.
The initial suspect is the beautiful young nurse whose home is full of items from Braga's various collections, but her alibi pans out and a romance with McMichael heats up. The investigation branches out to include political wrangling and underhanded business-as-usual money deals in a proposed new airport, a Mexican smuggling operation using Braga's new Fords, and, of course, the heirs. The plot is complex (sometimes confusingly so) and McMichael's inappropriate love life comes to the attention of police department politicos, further muddying the waters. While the story is not particularly compelling or suspenseful, Parker's characters are well-fleshed, preserving a touch of human mystery and murk, and the blustery San Diego winter provides a moody backdrop.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pangloss on October 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many T. Jefferson Parker books and this is one of the best. You see the term "page turner" used a lot but this is one book that really grabs you and keeps you reading until the end. There is murder, a little romance and a dedicated cop who is tracking down a killer while dealing with his own demons. I dare anyone to start this mystery and not finish it in one sitting. It is really quite riveting.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was my first book by T. Jefferson Parker, & I enjoyed it thoroughly. Being a San Diego native myself, I'll happily vouch for Mr Parker's extremely detailed command of the finer details of our city's geography, climate, & incredibly incestous Port Commission. Overall, an extremely compelling procedural mystery that kept me guessing 'til the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FictionAddiction.NET on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The story features San Diego homicide detective Tom McMichael who, on the first page, is given a difficult choice. Pete Braga, long-time family enemy of the McMichaels, has been murdered.
McMichael's lieutenant offers him the case but lets him know he can decline. He thinks it over for just a moment and accepts the case.
McMichael is now in "Cold Pursuit" of Pete Braga's killer, the same man who killed his grandfather in 1952. Braga was an ambitious man in life, with a net worth of a little over 12 million dollars. He served as mayor of San Diego, was the Port Commissioner and part of the Tuna Boat Foundation.
The elder McMichael worked for Braga on his tuna fishing boat. They had argued over wages and got into a physical brawl, which ended with the death of McMichael's grandfather. Braga claimed it was self-defense and never served any time for the death.
The McMichaels believed that he killed in cold blood. The feud continued with the Bragas believing that as payback, Gabriel McMichael, then thirteen-years-old, attacked Pete Braga's son, Victor, and beat him so bad that he was left with the mentality of a ten-year-old.
Tom McMichael grew up knowing both sides but never having proof of either. He had once been in love with Braga's granddaughter and both families had ended the young lovers' affair.
Tom eventually met Stephanie, married and had a son, Johnny. After seven years together, they divorced and he was still reeling a year later.
Totally devoted to his son, he felt he would never adjust to the weekend and Wednesday night visits. He wanted to be a full-time father to his son. He was still single though Stephanie had remarried a dentist, the same one she'd had the affair with before the divorce had been final.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Mckee on July 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
T. Jefferson Parker is magnificent! He doesn't write about shoot-em-up superheroes. This story begins with a murder and then investigates it. Suspects are found and either eliminated or investigated further. The solution was so obvious once you got there but the plot was so cleverly devised that you didn't figure it out until you turned that page.
If you want to learn more than you need to know about the book, read the other reviews. Better yet, read the book.
Unusual for a T. Jeff story, I did make one correct guess early on--usually I find something out when he's ready to tell me--but it didn't help much with the solution of the crime. I dismissed the clue I should have picked up.
The story is rich with solid characters and their personal, working, and family relationships. Tom McMichael investigates the murder of Pete Braga realistically, picking up leads and following them to their conclusion. And the subplots are equally well-developed--the generations-old family feud, McMichael's past involvement with Braga's granddaughter, and his on-going relationship with his son, to name but a few.
I have no reservations in rating this book the five stars it deserves!
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