Some say that outlaws no longer
exist, that the true spirit of the American West died with the legendary bandits
of pulp novels and bedtime stories. Charlie Hood knows that nothing could be
further from the truth. These days he patrols vast stretches of the new American
West, not on horseback but in his cruiser.
The outlaws may not carry six-shooters, but they’re strapped all the same.
Along the desolate and dusty roads of this new frontier, Hood prefers to ride
alone, and he prefers to ride at night. At night, his headlights illuminate only
the patch of pavement ahead of him; all the better to hide from the demons—and
the dead outlaws—receding in his rearview mirror.
But Hood doesn’t always get what he wants; certainly not when he’s assigned a
partner in Terry Laws, a County veteran who everyone calls Mr. Wonderful. And
not when Laws is shot dead in the passenger seat and Hood is left to bear
witness by someone who knew Mr. Wonderful didn’t always live up to his nickname.
As he sets out to find the gunman, Hood knows one thing for sure: The West is a
state of mind, one where the bad guys sometimes wear white hats—and the good
guys seek justice in whatever shade of gray they find it.
Read an excerpt.
Dutton Adult US hardcover Feb 2009
ISBN-10: 0525950958 / ISBN-13: 978-0525950950
Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD Feb 2009
ISBN-10: 1423345878 / ISBN-13: 978-1423345879
*Starred Review* Parker’s superb new thriller continues the tale of Charlie
Hood, the Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who fell hard for beautiful gangster
Allison Murrieta in L.A. Outlaws (2008). Deputy Hood now patrols the Antelope
Valley, a desert region north of Los Angeles where still nights and stark beauty
provide a refuge from his past (though he still hasn’t come to terms with
Murrieta’s death). But Hood’s new beat has a breed of heinous criminals all its
own. When his partner, Terry Laws, known by fellow officers as Mr. Wonderful, is
gunned down in the passenger seat of their patrol car, Hood once again finds
himself among the dark-hearted and the damned. It turns out that Laws wasn’t
such a model cop after all. He and a former partner were involved in a lucrative
operation running drugs south of the border. Then Laws found a conscience—a
little too late. Two-time Edgar winner Parker vividly evokes the spirit of the
Wild West, where bad guys prosper and good guys seek vengeance—at a price. He
delivers steady suspense and a cast of damaged characters led by Hood, whose
days crackle with moral conundrums and bone-deep regret. Approaching the novel’s
climax, Parker writes: “a wiggle of fear came up Hood’s back and crawled across
his scalp.” Readers will likely find themselves rattled—and riveted—too.