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Pacific Beat Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Parker's powerful story of murder and police corruption--a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection in cloth--features sparkling, tough prose in the hard-boiled tradition of Chandler and MacDonald.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The author of Laguna Heat (LJ 9/1/85) again combines generous detail, heartfelt characterization, and impressive language in an outstanding, memorable, and magnetic work. John Weir, an ex-sheriff's department employee, and brother-in-law Raymond battle corrupt police, development-at-all-cost advocates, and a known sex offender when they try to find the murderer of John's beloved sister. Splayed against the coastal community of Newport Beach, California, where old-time residents hope to elect a "slow-growth" candidate, their investigation reveals ever-deeper layers of deception. This exciting, multidimensional plot should grab even the most demanding mystery reader.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 423 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (May 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312927924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312927929
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peggy Stone on April 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ultimately, I enjoyed this book a lot less than I thought I was going to. I enjoyed the details and the characterization, until the latter began to fall apart. People intended to be sympathetic just don't come across that way (I really kept wondering why everyone thought Ann was so wonderful, when she was consistently anything but - and to say I didn't get the appeal of the hero's old flame is putting it mildly), and the ending.... Well, it's difficult to say much without giving away spoilers, but the ending ruined the book for me in terms of enjoyment. It was clever in a technical sense, but not very believable when added to all the misdirection. Ultimately, I just don't like the kinds of mysteries where everyone ultimately rings false and everyone has dark secrets, especially when you are drawn into what you think is the decency of at least some of the characters.
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Parker Has gifted us with so many worthy quotes in this book that I thought it appropriate to use a quote by Fred Allen to complement him "He writes so well he makes me feel like putting my quill back in my goose"''

You can see what I mean if you X-Ray this book and read the quotes highlighted by previous readers. Here is my favorite which seems to fit our times.."Those ignorant of history are not doomed to repeat it....that would be a staggering accomplishment . They are simply doomed to ignorance of everything else"

The main characters , Jim Weir,Raymond Cruz, and the murder victim Ann Cruz (thru her journal) are well described. The plot follows the quest of Husband Raymond and Ann"s brother Jim as they hunt for evidence to prove the guilt of the person who murdered Ann. Several suspects appear including Ann's former high school and currant lover who is a wealthy land developer,
and a convicted sex offender who has served his time and has
Moved into the area. His previous crime facts match the evidence in Ann's murder.

A sub-plot in the back ground may have played a part in the murder due to Ann's activities in the movement to stave off the development of land grabbers who may be dumping chemical waste off the coast line to bring down the value of property in the area.

Parker's scenes in most of his novels are in Southern California. His later books have scenes in Mexico. This book deals with the attempt to turn quaint Newport Beach into a thriving Metropolis. Back in the late 70"s and 80's when I was a licensed P.I. So. Cal was one of my most popular areas to work in.

The ending seemed me to be a little hurried.
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This is my first Jefferson Parker novel. Although originally published in 1992, it didn't seem dated (except for the absence of cell phones). The writing was quite good. The problem I had with this story is that the victim, the sister of protagonist Jim Weir, was not likable. Although the author keeps telling us that everyone liked Ann, he doesn't give the reader any reason to agree with him. We also don't have any reason to like his brother-in-law, mother, love interest, or anyone on the Newport Beach police department. The mystery is interesting for about three-quarters of the story. But then it seems repetitive, and you want resolution. The last few chapters have you guessing who Ann's killer was. All in all, a good read.
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I enjoyed this 1991 thriller by T. Jefferson Parker immensely. It is a complicated story regarding the "progress" coming to the city of Newport Beach, as well as the story of a complicated and dysfunctional family, as well as a murder mystery.

Jim Weir returns to the city where he once lived after being in the salvage business for a few years. During this time, his sister Ann is murdered. She was married to a sheriff's deputy, whon is also a friend of Jim's, Raymond Cruz, and the couple had been expecting their first child, although Ann was 39 years old at the time of her death. There are numerous plot twists and surprises in this book, so many that at times, I found myself holding my breath for the next new development.

It is a tragic and sad story, but also a story of forgiveness and redemption. I thought it was extremely well written and one of the best of Parker's novels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read many of Parker's more recent books, I decided to read Pacific Beat, which was his third book written in 1991. This book clearly demonstrates that even early-on in his career Parker had a strong talent for creating intricate plots, rich characters, lots of atmosphere and believable, tough prose. Pacific Beat is a story of murder and corruption in Newport Beach, CA, and, in typical Parker fashion, has some interesting plot twists and a surprising ending. Two factors, however, kept me from giving this book a 5-star rating (and almost caused me to lower my rating to 3 1/2 stars). One, and the bigger of the two factors, is that it is a little too long and tended to drag at times. For me, this problem would have been overcome, if it was about 50 pages or so shorter. The second factor is that a few of the surprises seemed a bit too contrived. While not Parker's best book (which to me is Where Serpents Lie), Pacific Beat is worth reading.
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