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The Renegades: A Charlie Hood Novel by T.…
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The Renegades: A Charlie Hood Novel (2009)

by T. Jefferson Parker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charlie Hood (book 2)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Author T. Jefferson Parker has a theory that outlaws, in the spirit of the old American West, still exist. Parker, in fact, not only contends that outlaws still exist - his theory includes the belief that, just as in gunslinger days, many of today’s most notorious outlaws spend some portion of their lives working as law enforcement officers. In The Renegades, his follow-up to L.A. Outlaws, Parker tells the story of two modern day outlaws, both of whom just happen to be Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs.

Deputy Charlie Hood is one of the good guys. He is somewhat of a loner who prefers to ride the roads at night, even in his off-time, as he grows accustomed to his recent assignment to the county’s Antelope Valley. Charlie would, in fact, be just as happy never to be assigned a partner, but he soon finds himself working with Terry Laws, a man known to his fellow deputies as “Mr. Wonderful.” After Mr. Wonderful is assassinated while he and Charlie are on a routine call, Charlie accepts a transfer to Internal Affairs so that he can get to the bottom of the murder. Perhaps, he thinks, Mr. Wonderful was not really so wonderful after all.

Getting to the truth about his partner’s murder will not be easy – or safe. In the process of figuring out what Mr. Wonderful was up to, Charlie will make some ruthless men on both sides of the border nervous enough to want him dead. And they will do their best to make exactly that happen.

There is a good deal of dramatic action in The Renegades, but Parker has chosen to tell his story in a straightforward manner that offers few real surprises. Once the main characters have been fleshed-out in the minds of readers - and the plotline set in full motion - their ultimate fates are too easily predictable. Part of the fun in reading a police thriller of this type is trying to guess what will happen next as the hero gets into deeper and deeper trouble. Surprisingly, however, that fun is somewhat lessened when, as in this case, the reader always guesses correctly.

The nine-CD audio book version of The Renegades is read to good effect by David Colacci, a man whose voice is likely to sound very familiar to fans of audio books. Colacci’s differentiation of tone, accent, and cadence make the numerous characters relatively easy to follow despite the book’s frequent changes between first and third person perspectives. Not having read L.A. Outlaws, I am uncertain of how wise it is to read this sequel first. Jefferson does make an effort to repeat the key points from the first book to help his readers understand just how Charlie Hood turned into the man he is today, but it is very possible that readers with more background will experience The Renegades very differently than readers coming to it cold.

Rated at: 3.5 ( )
  SamSattler | Apr 6, 2011 |
Charlie Hood is back after a shooting and Internal Affair investigation in "L.A. Outlaws." He asks for a quieter division and is assigned to the Antelope Valley area.

While he and Terry Laws are on a call, Laws is killed. The killer had an automatic weapon and it either jammed or the killer wanted Charlie left alive. He is tormented without knowing which.

Internal Affairs found Charlie to be an honest cop in "L.A. Outlaws" and with his partner murdered, they reassign him to their unit to lead the investigation behind the killing.

It doesn't take long to see that Terry Laws was a dirty cop. Laws and his partner, Coleman Draper arrested a man named Shay Eichrodt stating that he murdered two cartel curriers. They then took much of the $340,000 they found in the trunk and brought that to Mexico so they could begin getting a piece of the action.

The author may have assumed that the reader was familiar with Charlie Hood from "L.A. Outlaws" and so there isn't much characrer development. Sometimes when Charlie is talking he switches from he did this, he did that, to the first person, I did this etc and it was confusing.
In addition, Coleman Draper was hard to picture as a truly evil character. At times he seems caring and has integrity, at other times he has complete disregard for life.

Parker is an excellent writer and is one of only three authors who have won the Edgar Award for best mystery. However, while this is not at the top of his writing, it is still an enjoyable read. ( )
  mikedraper | Oct 24, 2009 |
I don't read much crime fiction, but this was great. I picked it up based on the cover, which, as it turns out, has nothing at all to do with the plot. However, the characters are multi-dimensional, the plot is well-paced, and the dialogue is appealing. I found two aspects of the book particularly compelling: first, the reveal. Crime fiction isn't as much about the plot as how the reader comes to understand the full implications of it; in this story, Parker shares key pieces of information steadily and in just the right order. Second, the villain is terrific. I admired the good guy, but initially felt drawn to the bad guy, even as the evidence accumulated showing him to be a soulless manipulator. Not sure if it's a theme in Parker's other books, but one of the truths of this story is that the good guys don't necessarily lead any happier lives than the sociopaths; they're just more considerate of others. ( )
  bezoar44 | Jun 6, 2009 |
Cool story ( )
  sdliz | May 17, 2009 |
Not Mr Parker's best work. The bad guy is a little too disjointed. Feels like his two sides never reconcile. Still, other characters are interesting and the story, if pedestrian, still moves. would recommend for a quick escapism read.
  norinrad10 | Apr 6, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. Jefferson Parkerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colacci, DavidReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my father and mother, Robert and Caroline, who put bread on the table and stories in our heads. Thank you.
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Hood got partenered up with Terry Laws that night, another swing shift in the desert, another hundred and fifty miles of motion on asphalt, another Crown Victoria Law Enforcement Interceptor that would feel like home.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Two cartel couriers are murdered and $340,00 is taken from the trunk of their car.
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Sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood is transferred to the supposedly quiet desert community of Antelope Valley, only the quietness is shattered one night during a routine call: someone guns down his partner, Terry Laws, in their patrol car. Hood is out to find the killer Wild West style.… (more)

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