L.A. Outlaws (Charlie Hood Series #1)

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Overview

Allison is an L.A. celebrity, a folk hero, and a modern-day Jesse James who loves a good armed robbery. She has a compulsion to steal, a knack for publicity, and the conscience to give it all to charity. In fact, one of her biggest fans is a cop. And no one’s ever been hurt—until last night. Now she and the rookie deputy are on the run for their lives.

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Overview

Allison is an L.A. celebrity, a folk hero, and a modern-day Jesse James who loves a good armed robbery. She has a compulsion to steal, a knack for publicity, and the conscience to give it all to charity. In fact, one of her biggest fans is a cop. And no one’s ever been hurt—until last night. Now she and the rookie deputy are on the run for their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
T.Jefferson Parker's terrific L. A. Outlaws introduces one of the most enticing heroines in recent American crime fiction…Parker is hardly unknown. This is his 15th novel, and he's one of three writers—Dick Francis and James Lee Burke are the others—to have twice won the Edgar Award for best crime novel of the year. Still, he's never achieved quite the recognition he deserves and this could be his breakthrough. All his skills are on display here: vivid writing, strong characters, clockwork plotting, agonizing suspense and, finally, an ending that manages to be just right. L. A. Outlaws is popular entertainment at its most delicious.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Parker is one of the best crime writer working in Southern California and this audio-his first mystery to be set outside his native Orange County-should win him many new enthusiasts. David Colacci's and Susan Ericksen's strong vocal talents bring his main characters to life with energy and wit. As Suzanne Jones, the sedate history teacher who by night becomes Allison Murietta, a direct descendant of the legendary bandit Joaquin Murietta, Ericksen makes listeners understand what drives this intriguing woman to dangerous acts of thievery and self-promotion. As rookie deputy Charlie Hood, Colacci catches all the edges of his not-so-simple character as he tries to solve a multiple murder and finds himself falling in love with Suzanne. Colacci also does a scary job creating the menacing drug lord who wants back the diamonds Suzanne has stolen. The two narrators and Parker's bristling tale makes a fast-paced and winning combination. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 19, 2007). (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Entertainment Weekly
Out of Sight meets Gone in 60 Seconds.
Washington Post
From the two-time Edgar® Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author ... popular entertainment at its most delicious.
Los Angeles Times
At once a noir thriller and a western ballad of desperadoes... Hard-boiled and heartbreaking.
Chicago Sun-Times
Suspenseful and original.
Providence Journal
Parker has penned the mystery of the year.
Library Journal

Who doesn't love an outlaw, especially one who donates to charity and never injures a soul? Believing herself a direct descendant of the legendary Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, Allison Murrieta teaches history in public schools by day and steals cars and robs fast-food restaurants in her free time. Her outlaw life is going well until she witnesses the gory aftermath of a diamond heist gone awry-then runs off with the diamonds. Let the chase begin. Certain characters, both criminals and law officers, will do most anything to get their hands on these diamonds. Allison's biggest problem-aside from staying alive-is how to handle smitten LA sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood, who until now has channeled all his youthful energy into doing the honorable thing. Edgar Award winner Parker (Storm Runners) packs in so many characters and subplots that his speed-driven crime novel sometimes bogs down like a freeway at rush hour. But his ability to evoke the cultural landscape of Southern California, with all its audacity and media obsession, is spot-on. Expect high demand and buy for all popular fiction collections.
—Teresa L. Jacobsen

Kirkus Reviews
A legendary outlaw's DNA plays an unlikely role in Parker's latest winner (Storm Runners, 2007, etc.). "Here's the deal," proclaims our heroine at the opening of the novel. "I am the direct descendent of the outlaw Joaquin Murrieta," whose questionable virtues she goes on to extol. Apparently, he could charm, chill and kill with equal facility. But in 1853, Joaquin's larcenous career was ended the hard way by a contingent of Texas Rangers: They shot him dead, then cut his head off. Some say the year was 1878. Some say he didn't die or live at all, that he was a romantic myth, an amalgam of at least three Joaquin-like desperadoes. Numbered among the skeptical you would never find Suzanne Elizabeth Jones. She's the beautiful mother of three and currently employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District as a history teacher. She is also self-employed, involved in work that has been giving Southern California law enforcement fits for some little time. Masked, bewigged and packing her palm-sized Ca-onita (.40 caliber, ivory-handled derringer), she steals from the rich and, on occasion, shares a portion of the plunder with the poor and/or deserving. As a memento after each victimization, she leaves behind her card: "You have been robbed by Allison Murrieta. Have a nice day." Life changes abruptly for Suzanne (aka Allison) when she stumbles upon the aftermath of a fire fight that has left ten gangsters dead, and she discovers diamonds worth some $400,000. She takes the gems, setting off a chain of events that leads to violence and death, passion and love. In this latter regard, enter Charlie Hood, a good cop and good man who understands the ferocity inherent in Suzanne/Allison's nature-a sideof her as wild as it is deterministic. All the requisite action-suspense: No one does thriller-with-heart better than Parker.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615513604
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/5/2008
  • Series: Charlie Hood Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (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
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    My first Parker book

    This was the first T. Jefferson Parker book I've read and even though it was not a 'great' book, I enjoyed it enough to read another. I got the impression it was written to eventually be made into a movie because the character development and storyline was a little thin at times. Still, it was a very enjoyable book and I have already recommended it to some friends. It would be fun to see a book where Jeff's characters cross paths with someone like Elvis Cole! I also enjoyed meeting the author recently and getting the book signed. He is a very friendly and interesting man.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    A superbly entertaining crime novel

    T. Jefferson Parker continues to build a reputation as one of the top writers of suspense thrillers in the game. With L.A. Outlaws, he has delivered his most satisfying book yet. Allison Murrieta surely ranks as one of the most uniquely compelling characters to populate the world of crime fiction in years. Written in a smooth, highly readable style that combines vivid settings with a breakneck pace, this is one book sure to please Parker's many fans - and win him a lot of new ones.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    T. Jefferson never disappoints, and he doesn't this time, either.

    Action, complexity, heart, and a fair seasoning of irony on top. It just doesn't get any better than T. Jefferson, and this is clearly up to his standard, excellent level of wiritng. The guy has the ability to write a tale which is engaging, often bizarre, and heart-touching, all at the same time. He also knows "Southern Cal," "L.A.," or whatever you want to call this weird place where I was born and where I live. The strange stuff Parker writer writes about doesn't happen here every day, but it happens often enough --- and painfully enough --- that there is never any doubt in this book --- or ANY of his books --- that he has the cultural geography nailed.

    This book is fine enough to be called "actual literature," but because of the genre and style, it probably never will be. Enjoy what the literary gurus will probably miss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It was fun

    Was hoping for a more character friendly ending but was still a fun read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Vivid characters, compelling story

    The main characters are still vivid to me three months after a friend gave me this book to read. I'm now delightedly making my way through all of Parker's novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    Looking Forward to the Next One

    I must admit that I really got my money's worth with this book (I purchased it at BN in the clearance books section). I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the twists and turns, too. This book kept me up a few nights because I couldn't put it down. This was my first time purchasing a book by T. Jefferson Parker, but it CERTAINLY will not be my last. Keep up the good work T. Jefferson!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting single sitting read

    In Los Angeles a woman claims to be Allison Murrieta, a descendant of the legendary some say notorious nineteenth century robber. Allison insists her relative was Robin Hood of the Wild West while his victims over a century ago insisted he was a cold-blooded killer. Allison emulates her ancestor by wearing a mask to hide her real identity of eighth-grade history teacher and mother of three boys, Suzanne Jones, when she robs from those she dubs as avaricious giving part of her loot to charity. A media and public darling who doe not want her secret identity exposed her latest caper is to steal diamonds from Bull, a known criminal. This time however, she gets more than she wants when she observes Bull¿s prime killer Lupercio cold bloodedly murder gangland-style his boss¿ enemies. As she tries to flee the crime scene serendipitously, L.A. sheriff's deputy Charles Hood catches her and demands she testify that she witnessed Lupercio¿s murdering spree at the same time Bull wants his diamonds returned to him so he sends his top gun to retrieve them anyway he can. --- This is an exciting single sitting read that grips the audience from Allison¿s first heist until the final confrontation when the thug, the cop, the media, and the heroine come together. The cast is deep and powerful enhancing a strong plot that will have readers rooting for this modern day female Robin Hood as she moonlights by robbing from greedy bullheaded hoodlums while teaching American History in the daytime. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 12, 2009

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