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

3.6 27
by T. Jefferson Parker, David Colacci (Read by), Susan Ericksen (Read by)

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Los Angeles is gripped by the exploding celebrity of Allison Murietta, her real identity unknown, a modern-day Jesse James with the compulsion to steal beautiful things, the vanity to invite the media along, and the conscience to donate much of her bounty to charity. Nobody ever gets hurt - until a job ends with ten gangsters lying dead and a half-million dollars


Los Angeles is gripped by the exploding celebrity of Allison Murietta, her real identity unknown, a modern-day Jesse James with the compulsion to steal beautiful things, the vanity to invite the media along, and the conscience to donate much of her bounty to charity. Nobody ever gets hurt - until a job ends with ten gangsters lying dead and a half-million dollars worth of glittering diamonds missing.

Rookie Deputy Charlie Hood discovers the bodies, and he prevents an eyewitness - a schoolteacher named Suzanne Jones - from leaving the scene in her Corvette. Drawn to a mysterious charisma that has him off-balance from the beginning, Hood begins an intense affair with Suzanne. As the media frenzy surrounding Allison’s exploits swells to a fever pitch and the Southland’s most notorious killer sets out after her, a glimmer of recognition blooms in Hood, forcing him to choose between a deeply held sense of honor and a passion that threatens to consume him completely. With a stone-cold killer locked in relentless pursuit, Suzanne and Hood continue their desperate dance around the secrets that brought them together, unsure whether each new dawn may signal the day their lies catch up with them.

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.
From the Publisher
"L.A. Outlaws is hard, fast, and etched with characters so sharp they'll leave you bleeding. This is the best T. Jefferson Parker novel yet." —Robert Crais 

"No one does tough like T. Jefferson Parker, and this time tough equates to one Allison Murrieta, a combination of Robin Hood, Zorro, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Gloria Steinem. An amazing read."  —Elizabeth George

"The irresistible antihero of this outstanding thriller from bestseller Parker (Laguna Heat) calls herself Allison Murrieta and claims to be a descendant of Joaquin Murrieta, a 19th-century figure who looms large in California folklore (he was either a ruthless robber and killer or an Old West vigilante and Robin Hood). By day, Allison is Suzanne Jones, an eighth-grade history teacher with three sons in Los Angeles; by night, she dons a mask, straps on her derringer and steals from the greedy. Beloved by the media, she never uses the gun; her victims are never sympathetic; and she gives part of her loot to charity. But while stealing diamonds belonging to a master criminal known as the Bull, she witnesses a gangland-style bloodbath at the hands of Lupercio, a ruthless assassin working for the Bull. As she’s leaving the scene of the crime, L.A. sheriff’s deputy Charles Hood stops her, and that’s when the plot gets complicated. The Bull wants his diamonds back. Lupercio knows Murrieta/Jones took them. Hood wants Jones to identify Lupercio. And the public wants to know who Murrieta really is. This tour de force of plotting and characterization may well be Parker’s best book." —Publishers Weekly

"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 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

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Charlie Hood Series , #1
Edition description:
Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs.
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

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L.A. Outlaws (Charlie Hood Series #1) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
arkie23 More than 1 year ago
Was hoping for a more character friendly ending but was still a fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous 17 days ago
Highly improbable. Too long. Some engaging characters but the bad guys way too bad, particularly the Mexican machete-wielding assassin.
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