Customer Reviews for

Silent Joe

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Imaginative Character

    I know of no author who writes such unique characters as does T. Jefferson Parker. Joe Trona (the protagonist in Silent Joe) is yet another in Parker's stable of main characters that I loved getting to know. He is the 23-year-old adopted son of a politician who spends his entire life thankful to the father who saved him from a family-less life--picked Joe from among all other children in the Home despite the acid burns that covered half of Joe's face. From that day forward, Trona hones his body to a level of strength that will defend him from future attacks and trains his mind to seek out danger to his father. But, early in the story, he fails and his father dies. Joe makes it his job to find the killers and bring them to justice.

    Throughout the story, Parker's characterization of Joe is creative, fascinating, unique. I am entertained by his take on events and enthralled by his ability to puzzle out solutions. Joe is the only fully-fleshed character in the book, but where usually that results in a flat story, in this case, Joe's quirks are more than enough. Highly recommended to anyone doing character studies or writers working on developing their skills at portraying the actors in their own novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    Five Stars for a Reason

    Have you noticed that every review so far has given this book five stars? There's a good reason--it is one of the best mysteries and personality studies I've read in years. This is the type of book you are captured by right from the start and dread finishing. The characters--particularly the title character--are interesting and unique from one another, the mystery is solved through careful deduction and good detective work, and the overall story line is very original. Give yourself time and treat yourself to Silent Joe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2003

    ' Another Winner '

    T.Jefferson Parker continues to amaze me! All his books are top-notch. He writes one good story after another.This one is sure to please. I strongly recommend!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Read this book!

    This was the second T Jefferson Parker novel I have read. I had finished The Blue Hour and was haunted and a bit saddened by it, so I hesitated to pick up Silent Joe. No worry. This is a great mystery and rather uplifting at that. I'm still mulling it over even as I look forward to reading more of Parker's work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    I miss Joe!

    I finished this book last weekend and cannot stop thinking about it. This novel is nirvana for a mystery-lover. The characters are so intense, so realistic...I think I fell a little in love with Joe. The day after I finished this book, I rushed it off in the mail to a good friend, another mystery-buff: this book is so good you will be driven to share it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2001


    T. Jefferson Parker just keeps getting better and better with each novel. In his newest book, SILENT JOE, the reader is introduced to Joe Trona (a.k.a. Acid Baby), a deputy for the Orange County Sheriff Department, a bodyguard for his adoptive father, Will, and a man who was horribly disfigured by his real father as an infant. Needless to say, Joe has had to overcome adversity. He smart, tough, a trained martial artist, and a crack shot with a .45 automatic. He also deeply loves his adoptive father and would put his life on the line in a heartbeat to save him, if it ever came down to that. And it does! Will Trona, a powerful commissioner for Orange County, has made a lot of friends over the years, but he¿s also made a large number of enemies. One dark, foggy night, while acting as a go-between to help rescue a kidnapped girl from a wealthy and influential family, Will is set up to be killed. Joe, who¿s chauffeuring for his father that night, watches it happen, but is unable to do anything to save the man who raise him and loved him as few parents could. He does manage, however, to take out two of the killers before the head honcho of the group murders the rest of his men to protect his own identity and then swiftly disappears into the night. From that moment on, Joe¿s only goal is to find the answers as to why Will was set up and to put down the men behind the assassination. Over the next few weeks, as Joe starts checking into his adoptive father¿s past, he discovers things that surprise and shock him¿things that would¿ve been better left alone. He also begins to get an inkling of who might¿ve wanted to murder Will and how big the conspiracy actually is. At first the people behind Will¿s death try to buy Joe off in an attempt to make him back away from his investigation, then he¿s warned as to what might happen if he doesn¿t stop. Joe Trona knows no fear, until the woman he has quickly grown to love is threatened. The only way out of the situation is to confront the danger head on. This is a man who always carries three handguns and can kill with his bare hands in a dozen different ways. It¿s going to take a lot of firepower and a high body count to stop him from settling his vendetta against those that brought tragedy to his family and threaten the people he loves. SILENT JOE is definitely Mr. Parker¿s best novel to date, and that¿s saying a lot when you consider that he wrote RED LIGHT, WHERE SERPENTS LIE and THE BLUE HOUR. He¿s created a powerful character in Joe Trona, a man with his own inner demons to fight, a man that the reader immediately starts rooting for from page one. As Joe seeks to avenge his father, he soon realizes that the person he loved was simply a man with his own strengths and weaknesses, and that nobody is perfect. Joe still has to find a way to accept the frailties of Will Trona, while acknowledging the good that he was able to do for his community before dying. Deep within Joe, however, is a desperate urgency to finally understand who his real parents were and why his actual father threw acid onto his face and his mother later abandoned him. These are painful questions that have been kept buried for too long and now need to be brought to the surface for a resolution of some kind. The answers may bring understanding, but they won¿t ease the turmoil that has made up his life. SILENT JOE is certainly writing as its best. Mr. Parker knows how to deliver the goods with a compelling plot and strong, believable characters that keep the reader glued to each riveting page. I hope that this isn¿t the last we¿ve seen of Joe Trona. I¿d love to see him return in a another novel, maybe even joining forces with Merci Rayborn from RED LIGHT and THE BLUE HOUR. This is a character that¿s too good to limit to just one novel. He deserves at least two or three more, so bring Joe back Mr. Parker!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2001

    A character so simple yet so complicated at the same time

    I just read T. Jefferson Parker's new book 'Silent Joe'. What a great book! I've read his other books and enjoyed them, but this one is even better. While it's called a mystery it's really much more. It's the story of a young man who was horribly scarred as an infant by an abusive father, abandoned by his mother and raised in an institution for the early years of his life. As a young sheriff's deputy he witnesses the murder of the man who adopted him and becomes determined to find the killer. Along the way he finds his past and his future. The book is remarkable for it's ability to take you into Joe's mind. You feel his thought process, you feel his pain and see how even bad experiences can result in a good man. I found myself trying to read slowly to savor the words. Days later I can't stop thinking about it. I still think the only bad part was that it had to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2001

    Rich noir novel

    It may be hyperbole to call this Parker's best novel to date, but Silent Joe is a beautifully-written mystery novel. Parker has a master's touch at introducing information -- never holding it back for effect, but at the same time allowing it to unfold at just the right moment. Likewise, he has a master's touch at language and proves that noir writing doesn't have to be set in the 1940s to work. Very satisfying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2001


    Meet Joe Trona, a scarred man. As a child, Joe had acid thrown on his face by his biological father. After spending the early years of his youth in an orphanage, Joe is rescued by politician Will Trona. Tormented by the nightmares of his childhood, Joe, welcomes the love, and acceptance given to him by his new family. At age twenty-four, Joe, now a cop, is his adoptive father's biggest fan. As the ever enthusiastic supporter of Will, Joe, helps his father with his political career, but on an evening of 'night business', things go terribly wrong leaving Will dead. On what started as a rescue mission of a kidnapped girl, will turn into a storm of violence, lies, and deception...with Joe left wondering if he knew the man he called his father at all. While trying to find Will's killer, and locate the missing girl, Joe, will uncover all the secrets that Will Trona possessed, and be forced to face the painful memories of his childhood. 'Silent Joe' is another explosive novel by T. Jefferson Parker. While remaining a suspenseful, page-turning thriller, 'Silent Joe' is much more, for at the heart is the examination of love, and one man's spirit to over-come tragedy. With it's strong characters, complex plot, and powerful narrative, 'Silent Joe' races along at break-neck speed. T. Jefferson Parker has been consistent with churning out fresh, thrilling bestsellers, and 'Silent Joe' is no exception. Old fans, and new readers alike will be enthralled by the tale of Joe Trona, further cementing Mr. Parker's reputation as the writer of the thinking person's bestseller. A MUST read! Nick Gonnella

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Parker's best

    When he was nine months old, his father poured acid on his face, scarring Joe for life. For the next four years, Joe lived in an orphanage until Will and Mary Ann Trona adopted him. Twenty years later, Joe works as a jailer for the Orange County prisons system and as a driver-bodyguard for his beloved father Will, now a county superintendent. <P>Joe drives Will to a dark area where the latter picks up a frightened twelve-year-old girl named Savannah. However, before they leave, gang members accost them, killing Will. Joe kills two of them while Savannah flees into the night. Joe quickly learns that the deadly Cobra Kings murdered Will. Joe finds out that Savannah was a kidnapping victim, but cannot see the link to Will. Feeling guilty over his failure to protect Will and a need to rescue Savannah, Joe begins to make inquiries. His investigation takes Joe way beyond the Cobra Kings to an uglier picture of his benefactor and a return to his own childhood nightmares. <P>SILENT JOE is a fabulously complex blending of psychological suspense with a private investigative tale that works because of the main character. The suspense-loaded story line centers on the heroic, but scarred (emotionally as much as his visage) Joe, who is learning more about himself, and his adoptive father and family even while deliberately stepping deeper into danger. 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. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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