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The Renegades (Charlie Hood Series #2)
     

The Renegades (Charlie Hood Series #2)

3.9 12
by T. Jefferson Parker, David Colacci (Read by)
 

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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

Overview

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 he doesn’t always get what he wants—certainly not when he’s assigned a partner named 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 to someone who knew that 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 can find it.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
[The Renegades is] not as flamboyant a novel as L.A. Outlaws, but it's a good one, in which Parker replaces his gossamer tale of a sexy thief with the ugly realities of police corruption and the multimillion-dollar Southern California drug trade…Parker is an interesting and inventive writer. There's a nice detachment in his portrait of Los Angeles: It's often hell on earth, but he views it with affection and a hint of humor. Because he's unwilling to be locked into a series, Parker glides from novel to novel, usually taking us in unexpected new directions. If you're interested in the best of today's crime fiction, he's someone you should read.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In this crackling follow-up to L.A. Outlaws(2008), bestseller Parker brings the Wild West to Southern California. After helping to bring down a corrupt lawman in L.A., sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood has transferred to the desert community of Antelope Valley, where his hopes for a quieter life are shattered one night during a routine call: someone guns down his partner, Terry Laws, in their patrol car. Nicknamed "Mr. Wonderful," Terry is an unlikely target for a hit, so Charlie joins forces with Internal Affairs to track down the killer. But Terry's squeaky-clean veneer starts to crack the deeper Charlie digs into his personal life. There are large influxes of cash, and Terry's old partner, a reserve deputy, has connections to the Mexican drug trade. Parker creates a desert no-man's-land unique in its corruption, but no less dangerous than the roughest of South Central street corners, and Charlie Hood is the perfect reluctant hero to patrol it. (Feb.)

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Library Journal

Terry Laws was, by all accounts, a superb law enforcement officer. But on the night he happened to be riding with fellow LA Sheriff Deputy Charlie Hood, he was gunned down execution-style. It looks like a straightforward case of a gangbanger getting even with Laws, but Hood is assigned to Internal Affairs and finds the tidiness of this line of thinking disturbing. He gradually teases out anomalies indicating that Laws might have been a corrupt cop following a skewed renegade style of justice. Hood's strong moral compass steers the plot through a bleak morass of drug-saturated culture, stretching from the dreary high-desert suburbs above Los Angeles all the way south to no-man's-land between California and Mexico. Allison Murrieta's spirit (L.A. Outlaws) still haunts him and is personified by her teenage son, Bradley, a smart young soul who hasn't figured out which side of the law he most admires. It's quite a showdown, done the Edgar Award-winning Parker way, in this engrossing tale of justice and redemption. Highly recommended for all popular collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/1/08.]
—Teresa L. Jacobsen

Kirkus Reviews
Further proof that nobody likes a cop who nails a cop. Deputy Charlie Hood, of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, is doing a stint with Internal Affairs and hating it. "I signed up to throw the bad guys in jail," he complains to a sympathetic ADA. When she points out to him that some bad guys wear uniforms, it's a truth that does little to dispel his sense that things are out of kilter: Cops should never have to chase cops. On the other hand, his investigation into the murder of Terry Laws, Mr. Wonderful to his fellow officers in the LASD, seems a case of an entirely different color: Cop killers should never be allowed to breathe free air. But the case darkens dishearteningly when the victim, a champion bodybuilder and estimable citizen, turns up on the payroll of a fat cat Mexican drug lord. The partner who survives Mr. Not-So-Wonderful, slick Coleman Draper, is catnip to the ladies, a part-time peace officer who's also a full-time stone killer. Draper doesn't enjoy killing, but his approach to problem-solving is thoroughly lethal. All at once, Charlie realizes, he's about to become Draper's No. 1 problem. The pace is leisurely and the plot a bit obvious, but Parker (L.A. Outlaws, 2008, etc.) at three-quarters effectiveness still beats most others at their best.
From the Publisher
"Ambitious, daring...brilliant." —The Associated Press

"T. Jefferson Parker has burgled the crumbling palace of Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration." —The Wall Street Journal

“Parker, the winner of three Edgar awards for crime fiction, again delivers a tale that is not only well-plotted and suspenseful, but subtle, surprising and endearingly perverse.” —Washington Post

"T. Jefferson Parker has carved out a niche for himself as the Hemingway of thriller writers...His writing is a wonder to behold." —Providence Sunday Journal

“A spectacular close a crime series that obliterated the boundaries of the genre.” —BookReporter  

"If you're interested in the best of today's crime fiction, [Parker's] someone you should read." —The Washington Post

"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." --Booklist (starred review) 

"Parker could well be the best crime writer working out of Southern Caifornia." —Chicago Tribune

"The Charlie Hood novels are nothing less than addictive." —Tucson Citizen

"The most groundbreaking crime series in decades." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"This is gripping literary entertainment with a point." —Los Angeles Times

"Some of the finest writing you'll ever read." —Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469235240
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Series:
Charlie Hood Series , #2
Edition description:
Abridged
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

T. Jefferson Parker is the author of numerous novels and short stories, the winner of three Edgar Awards, and the recipient of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mysteries. Before becoming a full-time novelist, he was an award-winning reporter. He lives in Fallbrook, California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Fallbrook, California
Date of Birth:
December 26, 1953
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
B.A. in English, University of California-Irvine, 1976
Website:
http://www.tjeffersonparker.com

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3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best cop book ive read in my life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MikeDraper More than 1 year ago
"The Renegades" is a follow up to Parker's "L. A. Outlaws." Charlie Hood returns after the shooting and internal affairs investigation of the earlier book. He asks for a more quiet assignment and receives the Antelope Valley Division. When he and Terry Laws are out on a call, Terry is killed by a man with an automatic weapon. Hood knows that there were rounds left in the gun and wonders if the gun jammed or did the shooter want to leave him alive for some reason. Internal affairs reassigns him to their unit so he can lead the investigation into Laws' killing. It doesn't take long before Charile finds that Laws was a crooked cop. He was living beyond his means, set up a bogus charity and deposited $7,200/weekly into his account. Laws and Coleman Draper arrested Shay Eichrodt, supposidly because he just killed two couriers. There was $340,000 in the man's trunk. Laws and Draper left a little for evidence and brought the rest over the border to Mexico to the head of the cartel. Then they began recieiving their payoff each week. This novel was an enjoyable read but not up to the standard of "L.A. Outlaws." In my opinion, the author assumed that the reader knew of Charlie's background so didn't spend a lot of time with character development. There were also confusing times when Charlie would be talking and the dialogue would go from first person to third person. Coleman Draper's portrayal was nicely done. At times, he seemed sincere and honorable but at other times he didn't hesitate to take a life or order someone killed. It seems that the author is telling us that as in real life, his antagonist can have good qualities as well as evil ones. The author is one of only three people to have won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel more than once. The other two people on the list are James Lee Burke and Dick Francis, nice company.
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Brian_Baker More than 1 year ago
From his outstanding debut with "Laguna Heat", Parker's been one of my favorite authors. In my opinion as an LA County resident he has an uncanny ability to capture the moods, nuances and settings of Southern California that's matched by very few; Michael Connelly, James Elroy, Chandler, perhaps one or two others.

LA Outlaws was a terrific book, with vivid and captivating characters just oozing noir excitement.

Unfortunately, this follow-up featuring Charlie Hood from the previous book doesn't quite make the grade. The previous book was completely dominated by Allison Murrietta - a descendant of the famed outlaw Juoaquin Murrietta - who died at the end of that work. This book centers on her paramour LA Deputy Sheriff Charlie Hood, who is not nearly as interesting a character; bland and pretty two-dimensional. None of the other characters are as interesting, either. By comparison, this is a pretty blah offering.

Pretty standard fare regarding drug running and money laundering; little tension or excitement; few action scenes; scant psychological suspense.

I will give it props for exploiting the SoCal landscape, though a very promising setting in the Llano del Rio ruins in the Antelope Valley had a lot more potential than I think was really explored.

But again, the main problem here is that I simply don't think the character of Charlie Hood is very interesting or complex. Certainly not enough to center a continuing series on.

Three stars. Mildly entertaining, but far from being his best work. Ultimately pedestrian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs Charlie Hood and Terry Laws are driving together when the former is executed. The brass insists gang initiation or perhaps getting even with Laws who has been a veteran of the streets. Hood is a bit shook up with his new partner¿s death especially since he prefers patrolling by himself with his demon (the spirit of Allison Murrieta ¿ see L.A. OUTLAWS) to accompany him, but understands why he should not investigate it.

However, Hood is a bit surprised when he is assigned to Internal Affairs, but this also gives him an opportunity to look into who murdered his partner starting with inquiries into the life of Terry, dubbed ¿Mr. Wonderful¿. He soon begins to find evidence that alleges Terry that was a crooked cop delivering a personal code of justice. This is something that Hood can understand as a good cop crosses the line to convey justice like in the old west as the system often protects nasty felons not because of fundamental rights that these same hoods tale away from others, but because of those working inside of it are disguised as upright citizens.

Hood is a beacon of morality in a desert of corruption in which drugs seem to own almost everyone's soul from Los Angeles to Mexico. The story line is fast-paced but driven by the throwback hero who obsesses with a need to know whether Mr. Wonderful was a bad or good cop; as defined by Hood and not some artificial law or a pompous judge with Allison inside his head as a reminder of what justice is. Fans will enjoy Hood¿s Old West mentality in modern day Southern California.

Harriet Klausner
sandy26 More than 1 year ago
Main character was outstanding and original!