SILENT JOE (2001)
With horrible remnants of a childhood trauma forever visible across his otherwise handsome face, Joe Trona is scarred in more ways than one. Rescued from an orphanage by Will Trona, a charismatic Orange County politician who sensed his dark potential, Joe is swept into the maelstrom of influence and intimidation that surrounds his adoptive father's illustrious career. Serving as Will's right-hand man, Joe is trained to protect and defend his father's territorybut he can't save the powerful man from his enemies. Will Trona is murdered, and Joe will stop at nothing to find out who did it.
Looking for clues as he sifts through his father's lifethe acquaintances, deals, enemies, and girlfriendsJoe comes to realize how many secrets Will Trona possessed, and how many people he had the power to harm. As Joe deepens his investigation, a figure from his past emerges, forcing him to confront the painful events of his troubled childhood.
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Jeff Parker on SILENT JOE
I wanted a first-person tale here, something far away from the spare language of RED LIGHT. I also wanted to write a fresh hero. In crime fiction, it often seems to be the world-weary detective, going into the world to do battle. But I thought, hell, why not write someone young and fresh and full of strength and innocence? So I came up with Joe. A lot of things came together for this book: my fascination with the idea of ugliness hiding beauty, the idea of being brought up by an institution rather than by parents, the idea of clinging loyally to precepts that turn out to be faulty, untrue, or even dangerous. I also wanted to imagine my way into the hidden powers behind an affluent place like Orange County, California. This was an enjoyable book to write. Joe surprised and delighted me at times. It was great to write a straightforward love story that comes out right. It's a very different book for me, and different than most you'll find on the mystery/crime racks. I hope people like it.
Hyperion US hardcover April 2001 ISBN 0786867280
Hyperion US paperback April 2002 ISBN 0786890037
HarperCollins UK hardcover Jan 2002 ISBN 0007134371
HarperCollins UK paperback Jan 2003 ISBN 0007122187
Center Point hardcover (largeprint) Sept 2001 ISBN 1585471259
Paperback Nova Audio cassette (abridged) March 2002 ISBN 1587884313
Brilliance Audio cassette (unabridged) April 2001 ISBN 9781587884283
Brilliance Audio MP3-CD (unabridged) June 2004 ISBN 9781593351564
Brilliance Audio (download) Sept 2004 ISBN 9781597107075
Winner of the MWA Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller. The LA Times also named it one of the Best Books of 2001. It was shortlisted for the Hammett Award and the Macavity Award.
He crafts an intricately layered story... perhaps Parker's most ambitious work to date.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
...this is another highly professional score from a savvy veteran.
"...a dark, sexy gem. A complex mix of seemingly unconnected plot lines, vivid characterization, and real mystery merge to form a truly satisfying thriller.
It's too bad there are no book awards for originality. If there were, this year veteran crime writer T. Jefferson Parker would win hands down thanks to the title character of his latest book Silent Joe, a brilliantly conceived and boldly innovative hero who makes this Parker's best work yet.
Providence Sunday Journal
Silent Joe is a remarkable novel that features a compelling evolving protagonist. ...Silent Joe is contemporary crime fiction at its absolute best.
Bill Sheehan, Barnes&Noble.com Editorial Review
Author T. Jefferson Parker is one of the best thriller writers working today. Silent Joe is a mindful, intelligent novel you can't put down.
Amazon.com Editorial Review
T. Jefferson Parker always writes a page-turner, but this is the award-winning author's best novel and hopefully Joe will return for another engagement.
Internet Book Watch
His sensitive masterful portrait is just plain good writing.
T. Jefferson Parker's latest California mystery is worth shouting about.