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Pacific Beat Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2004


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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 (April 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312927924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312927929
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Should you decide to read this book plan to stay up late at night.
H. L. Wasden
The story frequently dragged, the plot sometimes moving so slowly that I thought he might have been trying to write in slow motion.
Patrick McHugh
Well wrtten, lots of characters, twist and turns, mystery at its best and surprises at every turn!
Mrs. Sherry A. Barker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2007
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful 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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By SandyCeren on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A beautifully written sensitive portrayal of characters and relationships woven into a good story. One of the best in this genre. Parker has hooked me.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on November 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So, why not an A?

For my tastes, it was a little too dark and a little too slow. Sometimes it felt like some of the plot twists were forced on the reader by way of surprise information (to the reader) that all of the characters already knew about, such as the many connections between the land developer and the local politicians.

On the other hand, I was surprised by the ending which, despite the slow parts in the rest of the book, just flew by.

Strong character development, good use of false leads. Solid, solid work.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Janet Hedberg on June 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book! Icouldn't wait to finish it,but didn't want it to end. It is the first book I've read by T.J. Parker and I am looking forward to reading them all.Pacific Beat has suspense, good, evil and a dash of love as well. I hope I enjoy Parkers' other novels as much.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Pacific Beat" is T. Jefferson Parker's best book to date. It is filled with suspense, the characters are real and believable, and it is very well written. The ending is sure to surprise! An excellent example of what crime fiction can be when it's in the hands of those like T. Jefferson Parker.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By nobizinfla on December 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Pacific Beat" by T. Jefferson Parker is a strong book that I thought a bit too long. He is one of the most descriptive writers (Sample passages: "The silver limousine appeared in the fog as if born from it." "They say we have our memories, thought Jim, but really our memories have us.") and sometimes gets carried away---slowing down the plot movement.
Excellent suspense and a terrific overall plot---with fully fleshed out characters.
As usual, Orange County is a major character. This time it appears someone is dumping chemicals in the harbor. This could ruin property values and allow developers an [inexpensive] price, permitting them to raze everything and create some pricey real estate.
Uncovering a murderer seems to be a major key to locating the illegal waste disposers. I dismissed the murderer as a suspect early on and fell for most of the false leads.
It is a good book that would be great if shorter and more to the point. It's not a page-turner.
T. Jeff is a wonderful writer and storyteller.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick McHugh on August 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a relatively new fan of T. Jefferson Parker's work. I read Silent Joe (Edgar Winner) in 2008 and loved it. I followed that up with Red Light (Edgar Finalist), California Girl (Edgar Winner), and L.A. Outlaws; all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I then decided to go back to the beginning of his published works and see how his writing had started and evolved.

I thought Laguna Heat was very good, Little Saigon just okay, and then experienced disappointment in Pacific Beat. Maybe Parker was experimenting, working on refining his craft. The story frequently dragged, the plot sometimes moving so slowly that I thought he might have been trying to write in slow motion. Every character seemed to have an endless array of internal demons fighting to take control. It actually wore me out, so many depressed people living in such a wonderful place (I once lived in Laguna Beach and spent a lot of time in Newport Beach). Two or three times I considered giving up and moving on to another novel. It took me a long time to finish reading this book. My reading sped up when I started skipping a lot of descriptive narrative that had little to do with the plot. Here's the best summary I can provide: a) the protagonist's best friend is manipulating him, b) the protagonist's ex-girlfriend is manipulating him, c) the protagonist's mother is manipulating him, d) the Newport Beach police department are manipulating the protagonist, and e) in the end the protagonist is willing to forgive them all...which just didn't ring true to me. Additionally, the protagonist doesn't even solve the murder mystery, he just sort of stumbles around while other people figure it out. He's not even the catalyst for the people who do solve the mystery. Going back to his ex-girlfriend seemed like a very stupid decision.
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