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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and original
I am glad to have followed the advice of a fellow avid crime/thriller fan on Goodreads to pick up a book by T. Jefferson Parker. There’s something about his storytelling that compels me. I enjoyed California Girl because it immersed me in a time and a place where I know little about. The sixties in Orange County, CA. If you want, it pretty much boils down to...
Published 15 months ago by Marleen

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected
I bought this book sometime ago, because I have read some other books from the author and liked them. This book however didn’t excite me as much as it told a story from the sixties. So when I finally started to read this I was nicely surprised as the story was well written and easy to read. This is a story of two families and how their lives follow each other thru...
Published on 1 Feb. 2006 by T. Oksanen


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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and original, 25 Jan. 2014
By 
Marleen (Dilbeek, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: California Girl (Paperback)
I am glad to have followed the advice of a fellow avid crime/thriller fan on Goodreads to pick up a book by T. Jefferson Parker. There’s something about his storytelling that compels me. I enjoyed California Girl because it immersed me in a time and a place where I know little about. The sixties in Orange County, CA. If you want, it pretty much boils down to “sex, drugs, and rock&roll”. It must’ve been a time like no other; those sixties, people falling so easily into debauchery, but it’s much more than that. It’s a crime story alright, but it also felt like a chronicle of a family; the Becker family; four brothers who grow up in Tustin, Orange County raised by good people. Early on their lives are pretty much entangled with the Vonn family, who, as it appears don’t have the same moral compass the Becker family live by. Still, there are many layers to all the characters and believe me: they are all flawed – every single one of them. The author made me care about the Becker brothers. I liked how they stood by one and other.
It all starts with a boyhood rumble in 1954 between two neighbourhood families—the Vonns and the Beckers. After the Becker boys triumph, they watch as the little Vonn girl stares at them defiantly with an orange in each hand. Now the year is 1968, and nineteen-year-old Janelle Vonn is dead. She was raped, strangled, and her head was cut off. It’s Det. Nick Becker’s first homicide case; Andy Becker is the reporter writing about the case; and David Becker was Janelle’s minister. It will take the three brothers working together to solve this mystery.
Parker’s approach is refreshing and yet nostalgic. The different storylines are well plotted and give the reader a good sense of the brothers’ personalities and motivations. The only flaw is the carefree, careless and somewhat unsympathetic character of Janelle Vonn, which makes the brothers’ drive to solve her murder a bit forced. Yet I think their motivation has less to do with her as a person and more about the evocative image of a California Girl from a much simpler era.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant, Nostalgic Tale from the 60s and 70s, 22 Mar. 2006
This review is from: California Girl (Paperback)
It all starts with a boyhood rumble in 1954 between two neighborhood families—the Vonns and the Beckers. After the Becker boys triumph, they watch as the little Vonn girl stares at them defiantly with an orange in each hand. Now the year is 1968, and nineteen-year-old Janelle Vonn is dead. She was raped, strangled, and her head was cut off. It’s Det. Nick Becker’s first homicide case; Andy Becker is the reporter writing about the case; and David Becker was Janelle’s minister. This mystery is one that will take all three Becker boys, working together, to solve. Taking place in the late 60s and early 70s, this tale is expansive and more about the time in which the characters live: rock & roll, drugs, communism, and Vietnam. Parker’s approach is refreshing and yet nostalgic. The different storylines are well plotted and give the reader a good sense of the brothers’ personalities and motivations. The only flaw is the unsympathetic character of Janelle Vonn, which makes the brothers’ drive to solve her murder a bit forced. Yet I think their motivation has less to do with her as a person and more about the evocative image of a California Girl from a much simpler era. Had I been alive during this time period, I probably would’ve enjoyed this book even more.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, 1 Feb. 2006
By 
T. Oksanen (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: California Girl (Paperback)
I bought this book sometime ago, because I have read some other books from the author and liked them. This book however didn’t excite me as much as it told a story from the sixties. So when I finally started to read this I was nicely surprised as the story was well written and easy to read. This is a story of two families and how their lives follow each other thru violence.
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California Girl
California Girl by Jefferson Parker (Paperback - 1 Mar. 2010)
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