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T. Jefferson Parker

Author of California Girl

41+ Works 6,802 Members 175 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Novelist T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles, California in 1953. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976, and initially worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper. While writing for the Daily Pilot, he won three Orange County Press Club show more Awards. His first novel, Laguna Heat, was made into an HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin, Jason Robards and Rip Torn. His other works include The Triggerman's Dance, Where Serpents Lie, The Blue Hour, Red Light, and Cold Pursuit. Silent Joe and California Girl won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2002 and 2005 respectively. Silent Joe also received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller. When not working on his books, Parker spends his time with his family, hiking, hunting and fishing, and playing tennis. He enjoys diving, snorkeling, and travel. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Mark Coggins


Works by T. Jefferson Parker

California Girl (2004) 551 copies, 12 reviews
Silent Joe (2001) 538 copies, 15 reviews
The Blue Hour (1999) 483 copies, 14 reviews
The Fallen (2006) 469 copies, 13 reviews
L.A. Outlaws (2008) 448 copies, 12 reviews
Black Water (2002) 375 copies, 6 reviews
Red Light (2000) 350 copies, 5 reviews
Storm Runners (2007) 348 copies, 7 reviews
Cold Pursuit (2003) 325 copies, 3 reviews
Where Serpents Lie (1998) 313 copies, 5 reviews
The Renegades (2009) 281 copies, 8 reviews
Iron River (2003) 250 copies, 8 reviews
Laguna Heat (1985) 234 copies, 3 reviews
Pacific Beat (1991) 215 copies, 1 review
Summer of Fear (1993) 194 copies, 3 reviews
The Border Lords (Charlie Hood) (2011) 179 copies, 6 reviews
Little Saigon (1988) 179 copies, 4 reviews
The Triggerman's Dance (1996) 164 copies, 1 review
A Thousand Steps (2022) 136 copies, 16 reviews
The Room of White Fire (2017) 121 copies, 4 reviews
The Jaguar (Charlie Hood) (2012) 108 copies, 3 reviews
The Famous and the Dead (Charlie Hood) (2013) 93 copies, 2 reviews
Full Measure: A Novel (2014) 78 copies, 5 reviews
Crazy Blood (2016) 69 copies, 3 reviews
Swift Vengeance (2018) 64 copies, 2 reviews
The Last Good Guy (2019) 57 copies, 5 reviews
The Rescue (2023) 47 copies, 1 review
Then She Vanished (A Roland Ford Novel) (2020) 47 copies, 2 reviews
Desperation Reef (2024) 12 copies, 2 reviews
Vic Primeval (Short Story) 2 copies, 1 review
Easy Street 1 copy
Costa oeste (1992) 1 copy
A retteg ideje (2002) 1 copy

Associated Works

FaceOff (2014) — Contributor — 513 copies, 33 reviews
No Rest for the Dead: A Serial Novel (2011) — Contributor — 410 copies, 20 reviews
Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America (2015) — Contributor — 186 copies, 31 reviews
In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (2009) — Contributor — 175 copies, 3 reviews
The Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals and the Chase (2008) — Contributor — 155 copies, 7 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories 2001 (2001) — Contributor — 145 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 126 copies, 2 reviews
USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series (2013) — Contributor — 86 copies, 10 reviews
Ice Cold: Tales of Intrigue from the Cold War (2014) — Contributor — 71 copies
My California: Journeys By Great Writers (2004) — Contributor — 56 copies
San Diego Noir (2011) — Contributor — 48 copies
Palm Springs Noir (2021) — Contributor — 35 copies, 15 reviews
The Interrogator and Other Criminally Good Fiction (2012) — Contributor — 20 copies, 1 review


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Common Knowledge



A family of surfers confronts giant waves and their personal demons at the Monsters of the Mavericks. Jen Stonebreaker lost her husband, John, 25 years ago in a tragic accident at the Mavericks. She hasn't surfed competitively since. Now she and her twin sons, Casey and Brock, are preparing to enter the competition.
Jen has never gotten over the guilt and grief of John's death. She has poured her life into running her seaside restaurant and caring for her two sons.

Casey and Brock are twins with strikingly different personalities. Both are world-class surfers, but the resemblance ends there. Casey is more of a typical laid-back surfer. He fishes for his Mom's restaurant in the morning and bartends there at night. In between he models and surfs. While fishing, Casey sees a group of pirates illegally finning sharks. He captures it on video and shares it to his social media and law enforcement. This kicks off a high-stakes confrontation with the pirates.

Brock is an unconventional do-gooder and preacher. He and his wife and his Go Dog organization run to the sites of hurricanes, floods and fires to provide aid and relief. He also has his own church and a compound that assists people who need help getting back on their feet. While Casey is more of a turn-the-other-cheek type, Brock is more likely to turn your cheek with his fists. He has drawn the ire of a local white supremacist group that doesn't like the color of the skin of those Brock chooses to help.

All three are training hard for the Mavericks. Casey and Brock for the love of the sport, and for Jen it is an effort to conquer the fear and guilt that has dogged her for 25 years. The story remains interesting throughout in Parker's hands and moves along quickly, spending time with each of the main characters. The surf scenes are exciting and feel realistic. All the individual plots come to a head at or around the Mavericks.

The story is never boring, but neither is it ever truly exciting. The family relationship and struggles are well done. The individual trials seemed a bit dry and none of the reveals were ever truly shocking. The treatment of the illegal fishers/pirates felt unrealistic, particularly in their interactions with Casey.

If you are a big fan of surfing, you are likely to enjoy this book. It is also a really interesting story of family dynamics. As a straight-up thriller, it is more of a miss.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher.
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tottman | 1 other review | Jul 16, 2024 |
This thriller was a real page turner for me. It was set in the surfing world where surfers compete in contests to ride huge waves. Jen hasn't entered the big-wave surfing competition in 25 years, ever since her husband was killed while competing. Now she's ready to try to overcome her fear and compete again along with her 25 year old twin sons who are both well known in the surfing world. Casey is a world class surfer who bartends at the family restaurant, models surf clothing and fishes to provide the restaurant with fresh fish. At the beginning of the novel, he records illegal poachers at sea which puts him in danger with a crime syndicate . His twin brother Brock, is the founder of a church that helps people and takes chances in natural disasters that other groups won't. He also opens his church to the homeless no matter their background. This puts him in danger from a group of people who want to get rid of the immigrants and the homeless. As Jen and her two sons continue to prepare for the big wave competition her fears began to grow as she worries about her life and the safety of her sons.

I really enjoyed this book and it had me quickly turning pages to find out the results of the surfing competition. Along with that both sons had people that were threatening them and their family as they tried to do work that helped other people.

I always enjoy reading a book that teaches me something new. As a Midwesterner, I know nothing about surfing -- my knowledge of the subject has probably come from Beach Boys songs. There was a lot of surfing information in this book -- I found some of it redundant and boring but some of it was very interesting especially about Mavericks waves and the surfers who compete to surf them. The massive waves at a beach in California can routinely crest at over 25 ft and top out at over 60 ft. The videos of the surfers on these massive waves was fantastic and very frightening.

The author has written 26 novels - including two that won the Edgar Award - but he's still a new author to me. I enjoyed this book so much that I've just ordered his two award winning books and am really looking forward to his page turning suspense stories.
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susan0316 | 1 other review | Jul 9, 2024 |
emmby | 11 other reviews | Oct 4, 2023 |



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