The Jaguar (Charlie Hood Series #5)

( 26 )

Overview

New York Times bestseller T. Jefferson Parker, crime fiction's most critically acclaimed and award-winning writer continues "the most ground-breaking crime series in decades." (St. Louis Post- Dispatch) with another gripping tale of the Mexican border.

Erin McKenna, a beautiful songwriter married to a crooked Los Angeles County sheriff 's deputy, is kidnapped by Benjamin Armenta, the ruthless leader of the powerful Gulf Cartel. But his demands turn out to be as unusual as the ...

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The Jaguar (Charlie Hood Series #5)

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Overview

New York Times bestseller T. Jefferson Parker, crime fiction's most critically acclaimed and award-winning writer continues "the most ground-breaking crime series in decades." (St. Louis Post- Dispatch) with another gripping tale of the Mexican border.

Erin McKenna, a beautiful songwriter married to a crooked Los Angeles County sheriff 's deputy, is kidnapped by Benjamin Armenta, the ruthless leader of the powerful Gulf Cartel. But his demands turn out to be as unusual as the crumbling castle in which Erin is kept. She is ordered to compose a unique narcocoriddo, a modern-day folk ballad of the kind that have recorded the exploits of the drug dealers, gunrunners, and outlaws who have highlighted Mexican history for generations. Under threat of death, Armenta orders Erin to tell his life story-in music-and write "the greatest narcocorrido of all time." Allowed to wander the dark hallways of the castle retreat with only a guitar and a mysterious old priest to keep her company, Erin must produce the most beautiful song that these men have ever heard.

As the mesmerizing music and lyrics of Erin's song cascade from the jungle hideout, they serve as a siren song to the two men who love Erin: her outlaw husband, Bradley Smith, and the lawman Charlie Hood- two men who together have the power to rescue her. Here, amid the ancient beauty and haunted landscape of the Yucatecan lowlands, the long-simmering rivalry between these men will be brought closer to its explosive finale.

T. Jefferson Parker, who is widely hailed as his generation's most accomplished and talented crime novelist, delivers a crime thriller that dramatically redefines the landscape of the cartel wars as an epic clash of good and evil.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Parker’s excellent fifth Charlie Hood novel (after 2011’s The Border Lords), Bradley Jones, a deputy in the L.A. sheriff’s department who’s been transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel since he was 17, turns to fellow deputy Hood for help after henchmen of a rival cartel kidnap Jones’s pregnant wife, Erin. If Jones doesn’t pay the rival cartel’s leader, Benjamin Armenta, million within 10 days as an apology for the trouble he’s caused Armenta, Armenta will have Erin skinned alive. Parker demonstrates remarkable command of his material, from the gruesome realities of the Mexican drug trade to a surprisingly human portrayal of the monstrous Armenta, who keeps a menagerie of animals, including the jaguar of the book’s title, at his compound in Quintana Roo. A somewhat opaque subplot involving the dodgy Mike Finnegan, “a bathroom-products wholesaler,” distracts only slightly from the quest for Erin in a crime thriller notable for its fine, insightful prose. Agent: Trident Media Group. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Chronicling multiple, colorful drug smugglers on both sides of the law and the U.S.-Mexico border, Parker returns with Los Angeles County deputy Charlie Hood in the fifth title (after The Border Lords) in this six-volume series. Crooked, money-laundering deputy Bradley Jones suddenly finds that his wife, the captivating songwriter (and Hood's former love interest) Erin McKenna, has been kidnapped by Benjamin Armenta, the kingpin of the powerful Gulf Cartel. In his Yucatán citadel, where he has banned the use of electronic devices, Armenta demands that McKenna compose evocative Mexican folk ballads romanticizing his daring drug dealings. Through song, gesture, and hidden memos, however, Jones, McKenna, and Hood circumvent Armenta's efforts. VERDICT Although Parker is losing steam with this series, his fans will endure the complex plotline through one more Hood novel—although general readers may find it tedious. Let's hope the author can devise an enticing plot to end his series with a bang. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/11.]—Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A Mexican drug dealer kidnaps the composer wife of an L.A. cop and holds her for a song. Well, not just an ordinary song, but a narcocorrido, a kind of folk ballad dedicated to making heroes out of villains: drug dealers, gun-runners, kidnappers and the like. True enough, there's ransom money earning a mention somewhere along the line, but nobody really takes that seriously. It's the music that counts. Benjamin Armenta is the leader of Mexico's powerful Gulf Cartel, as ruthless a collection of rascals as ever battened on the border drug trade. But he sees himself as uncelebrated, as an unsung anti-hero, which in his view amounts to a miscarriage of justice, considering the nature and frequency of the crimes for which he's become infamous. The kidnapping of Erin McKenna, songwriter of note, is meant to fix all that. Bradley Jones, Erin's bent cop of a husband, gets 10 days to raise the cash while performing certain auxiliary tasks--no mention of music at this early stage--or Armenta will arrange to have his wife skinned alive, a threat to be taken literally. Erin is whisked away to Armenta's secret castle-fortress, where she will play out an oddball version of Beauty and the Beast. Meanwhile, knowing how much he needs help, Bradley reluctantly appeals to Charlie Hood, series hero (The Border Lords, 2011, etc.) and sometime friend. It's a classic love-hate relationship in the context of Charlie's intense and enduring feeling for Erin. So he signs on, and they mount the quest to locate and rescue Erin, who, deep in the cheerless Yucatan jungle, fraught and beset, composes to save her life.

Despite occasional affecting moments, the plot is essentially thin, unsustained by a cast of larger- than-life, empathy-proof characters. A rare misstep from the accomplished Parker.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455817993
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/10/2012
  • Series: Charlie Hood Series , #5
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (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
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Disappointed.

    Since I had enjoyed the 4 other books in the Charlie Hood series I'd looked forward to this one. However, I felt that the story lacked real credibility by the heroes actions in saving Erin. It just seemed way over the top to survive so many obstacles.
    Hope the next one stresses more of Charlie and less of Bradley.
    dijet

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    I want a refund

    I have read all of T. Jefferson Parker's books. Most were good , others very good. This one is neither. The story is contrived, convoluted and unbelievable. Too many unnessary side trips just for filler. The character Mike Finnegan should be carrying a pitchfork The drug dealer wants another million bucks just so he can have a song written about him? This is laughable. And the ending is a ripoff. It's like Parker just stopped in mind thought, and decided he has to set up the next book. Really TJ you should be ashamed, you're better than this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Anon

    I haven't even finished this book yet but can definitely understand the bad reviews. I honestly didn't believe them so went ahead and bought it and now I actually don't think I can finish reading it, it's so bad. Boring characters, boring and unbelievable story line. Parker's always been one of my favorite writers. Didn't think he was capable of writing such a bad book. Sorry, TJP, but this faithful fan cannot recommend this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Really boring

    This has to be one of the worst adventure/mystery novels I've ever read. Well not completely. Got to page 275 and threw the book out. Pointless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Was a disappointment

    It rambled and at times was disjointed in thought. I judge a book by the fact I don't want it to end. This one, the end didn't come soon enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Very Poor!

    Terrible story line, no sense, nothing like previous Hood book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    3.5

    The average rating is currently 3.5 for The Jaguar, and that's about right. It doesn't match up to the previous books, in my opinion. Charlie Hood has no real role until the end. What happens with him prior to that does not feel real, especially the crocodile swim. My impression is that that scene, as well as the scene in Reynosa, were contrived just to get him in the action, which really centers around Bradley and Erin. The Mike character is a little off the wall, so it does not help the story that much. Charlie Hood should be the focus as the most dramatic character, and here he is not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Bad

    Do not buy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Doveclan deputy den

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Highly Recommended.

    Super read. Best of the series. Hate to say goodbye to Charlie but can only hope he returns someday.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Lionstar

    !?!?!?!?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    To lionstar

    Irp Rainbowwing has to go in for surgery

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Gug

    Mvhvtic

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Sparta

    The white female jaguar paced around.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Hope another charley hood follows

    Parker is a master of prose, people, and story telling. Parker has always chosen areas of this part of our world that other popular authors either stay away from or can not really do justice to in their stories. I'm thankful that Parker has provided me with decades of meaningful, rich, quality, and at times gripping reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Kidnapped

    While this novel continues the series with Charlie Hood, the Los Angeles deputy sheriff and ATF agent, he plays a relatively minor role in the plot. Here he is more of a messenger carrying $1 million through Mexico to ransom Erin McKenna, wife of LA County sheriff’s deputy Bradley McKenna and a popular singer and songwriter who has been kidnapped by a gang of narcos and brought to the Yucatan castle home of the cartel leader, Benjamin Armenta. The story is, of course, of her experience as a captive, and the attempts to rescue her given the time limit within which Charlie must deliver the ransom.

    While the descriptions of Erin’s captivity and the surroundings of the “castle” itself are well-drawn, the closing chapters seem almost perfunctory in the writing; Erin’s rescue is almost reduced to an afterthought; and the concluding portions sought presented with little foundation.

    The novel continues the saga of the cross-border narcotics flow on a much different level. It really is a tale of a diverse set of characters, good or evil. And the reader ends up wondering who, with perhaps the exception of Erin, is which. Nothing and no one is what it seems.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    excellent...beautifully written..edge of your seat story.

    Ijust finished this wonderful bk in 3 days.i have not read a read lately
    where I actually felt like I was there watching from afar.I have read
    the first 2 bks & they were amazing.if you truly want to enjoy this book to the fullest..get the first 2 books in the series.I have read the other
    reviews & frankly I just do not agree with them. I do not feel like I
    wasted my time,in fact I feel that I just read a great book.honest.
    actually,I feel a little bit let down..because what book should I read
    now that will keep me entertained..better than music,better than tv....
    what I will admit was ..I did not read the 2 books before this..& I do
    agree I was just abit disappointed (also shocked) when the wife was
    actually captured..there should of been a more thorough explanation on how the husband got to the wife. the mike character was just 1 lucky con
    man.if u r looking for a good series to start & want good reads ahead..
    begin the series now.Mr.parker never disappoints.cheers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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

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