The Border Lords (Charlie Hood Series #4)

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Overview

Charlie Hood searches for an undercover agent who has disappeared, only to resurface in a haunting series of bizarre and inexplicable video tapes. The trail leads Charlie into the fevered landscape of America's southern border and the unexplored depths of humanity's dark soul.

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The Border Lords: A Charlie Hood Novel

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Overview

Charlie Hood searches for an undercover agent who has disappeared, only to resurface in a haunting series of bizarre and inexplicable video tapes. The trail leads Charlie into the fevered landscape of America's southern border and the unexplored depths of humanity's dark soul.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Parker is a connoisseur of the macabre, and even at their most absurd, his fantasies are always madly entertaining.
—The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews

In the fourth of his ambitious Border series (Iron River, 2010, etc.), Parker pits veteran agentCharlie Hood against errant good guys, vicious bad guys and maybe something in the paranormal guise.

Blowdown, the ATF operation aimed at coping with nonstop wickedness sourced south of the border, is not exactly overmatched, but Charlie is unsettled. He senses a day of reckoning. Entrepreneurial no-goods like the remorseless Carlos Herredia make formidable enemies. In defense of a flourishing drug trade, his well-armed, well-trained minions will murder at the drop of a sombrero, and it worries Charlie that close friend and colleague Sean Ozburn has been undercover among them longer than is feasible. And then suddenly there is tangible evidence suggesting Sean might have gone over, evidence persuasive enough to shake even Seliah, Sean's loving and endlessly loyal wife. The fact is Sean's behavior has undergone a sea change. He says and does things that to Charlie—to Seliah as well—seem wildly out of character, so much so that theidea of demonic possession occurs at least fleetingly to all three. "Maybe we're really not normal people," a panicky Sean says to his wife. Meanwhile internecine warfare between cutthroat gangs has intensified, catching Sean in the middle. The southern border becomes a killing field as barbarian chieftains struggle for ascendancy, while to Parker the war itself becomes a metaphor for a civil society struggling to survive. An excess of subplots softens the middle a bit, but this is a rich book, packed with action, violence, love, lust, flashes of wit, moments of poignancy and the occasional sharp geopolitical insight.

Despite 17 novels ranging from first-rate to extraordinary, Parker has somehow managed not to become a household name, which means enough of you aren't trying.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423379225
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Series: Charlie Hood Series, #4
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

T. Jefferson Parker
T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of fourteen previous novels, including Storm Runners and The Fallen. Alongside Dick Francis and James Lee Burke, Parker is one of only three writers to be awarded the Edgar Award for Best Novel more than once. Parker lives with his family in Southern California.

Biography

One of the best loved crime writers of our time, T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles and has lived all of his life in Southern California. The poster boy for Orange County, he enjoyed an almost idyllic childhood bodysurfing, playing in Little League, and enjoying family outings with his parents and siblings. He was educated in public schools in Orange County and received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976. (He was honored in 1992 as the University's Distinguished Alumnus.)

His writing career began in 1978 as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, The Newport Ensign. After covering crime, city hall, and local culture for the Ensign, Parker moved on to the Daily Pilot newspaper, where he won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. During this time, he filed away information he would later use to develop characters and plot points for his novels.

Published in 1985, Parker's first book, Laguna Heat, was written in whatever spare time he could find during his stint as a reporter. The book received rave reviews and was made into an HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin, Jason Robards and Rip Torn.

Since that auspicious beginning, Parker has made a name for himself with smart, savvy bestsellers dealing with crime, life, and death in sunny Southern California. In 2001, he hit the jackpot with Silent Joe, a bittersweet thriller that won the Mystery Writers of America's coveted Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2004, he repeated the feat with Califoria Girl, making him one of only two writers (the other is James Lee Burke) ever to have won two Best Novel Edgars. Among other honors and accolades, Parker has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the Southern California Booksellers Award for Best Novel of the Year. His books continue to score big on the national bestseller lists.

Good To Know

The "T" in Parker's name doesn't really stand for anything. His mother once told him she thought it would look good on the presidential letterhead!

In an interview with hardluckstories.com, Parker explained how his definition of noir has altered: "It seems to me that since 9/11 our appetites for darkness have shrunk a little. Mine have. I know that as a writer I've tried to bring more breadth and humanity to my stories. I think when all is said and done, a noir attitude is fine, but it's still just an attitude, a pose.

Parker's first wife, Catherine, died of a brain tumor at a very young age. He has since remarried happily.

In an interview with Harlan Coben, Parker was asked about the state of crime writing, i.e., what's wrong and what's right with it. "I think the Achilles heel of mystery/crime writing is character," he responded. "You have to have good characters—and sometimes I think mystery writers rely to heavily on plot and velocity of plot at the expense of characters."

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    1. Hometown:
      Fallbrook, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 26, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, University of California-Irvine, 1976
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2010

    vampires on the border

    Eighteen months is much longer than the average law
    enforcement offi cer stays undercover, but Sean Gravas
    was so close that to pull him now would see months of
    operational expenses go down the drain. Hood made
    the decision to leave him in. He was working with gang members,
    the North Baja Cartel, across the Mexican border to break a gunrunners
    ring suspected of smuggling in a thousand machine pistols.
    When all the gang members in the home are brutally slain, Gravas
    appears to be implicated, so Hood solicits the help of Gravas' wife
    Seliah to bring him out of his undercover role as Ozburn even if it
    means he has to face charges. Seliah notices changes in her husband's
    behavior, which the Blowdown team put down to the stress of being
    undercover for so long, until she is threatened by the same viral
    disease that is rampaging through both their bodies and is diagnosed
    as rabies. Weeks from death, Seliah is placed in a coma while she
    heals. LASD tries to convince Gravas that he too is ill.
    However, this is more than just a story about undercover agents
    on the Mexican border, drugs, guns and murder. Just who is the
    mysterious priest, Father Joe Left wich? Recognized as a local drugdealer and snitch, a.k.a. Mike Finnegan, who claims to have ridden
    with Murietta over one hundred and eighty years ago and the truth
    of the blood-transmitted disease becomes clearer.
    In this fast-paced, action thriller Parker has once again demonstrated
    the ability to keep his audience turning pages until the last drop of
    blood is accounted for, and provides just the right twist in the end.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A profound realistic look at the border problem from both sides

    Los Angeles sheriff's deputy thirtyish Charlie Hood continues to work for ATF as a loaner. Currently he and his partners are conducting surveillance of a house in the border town of Buenavista, California. Four North Baja Cartel gunmen are inside along with undercover ATF agent Sean Ozburn. A close friend of Hood, Ozburn poses as a gun dealing meth peddler.

    Abruptly Ozburn goes into rage and kills the cartel members before fleeing the massacre. Hood pursues his friend as he must bring Ozburn in. Meanwhile the rogue ATF agent offers the best gun on the market to a drug cartel leader while Hood's peer L.A. deputy Bradley Jones feels yanked by his ties to all the players.

    The key to the latest Hood police procedural (see Iron River) is the profound realistic look at the border problem from both sides; not just the illegal immigrants but a much more complicated issue. Instead, readers observe supply and demand at its purest with the sale of guns south to the Cartels and in the sale to American customers of drugs and girls. Fans will be hooked from the opening sequence when apparently undercover Agent Ozburn went rogue and never slows down until the final confrontation. Still with all this exhilarating testosterone making for a super tale, it is the economics of the Border Lords on both sides of the fence that brews bigger issues than long time staying illegals.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    Disappointed

    I was really looking firwatd to reading the latest book by T. Jefferson Parker. Unfortunately, it wasn't up to par. Storyline was hard to follow and just dont really care much for the Charlie Hood character.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    love and action

    lots of action. undercover cop with a mission to kill the gun runners. he and wife are bitten by a bat and infected. dog is Daisy. enjoyed until the end....went flat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Blood Lords

    There have been so many novels written about narco-trafficking and related issues that adding some mysticism could draw some readers who otherwise might think they had read it all. In Iron River, the Mike Finnegan character had some appeal, but here he is just plain creepy. I think that bats and vampires have their place in some novels, but they just demean the story here. In the end, The Border Lords has nothing of value to add.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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