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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guns and batter, 28 Nov 2011
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Iron River (Hardcover)
My first encounter with a T. Jefferson Parker book, and for the most part, I liked it a lot. I'm a sucker for any good evocation of LA/Southern California as the setting for any kind of novel, and "Iron River" delivers the California/Mexico border area and other parts of the Southland in fine and credible detail.

The book has several well-presented story lines--the struggle of U.S. law enforcement against cross-border gun trafficking; the gang wars actively undermining the social and political structures of Mexico; and the interactions of the book's key characters--Deputy Sheriff Charlie Hood (protagonist), Ron Pace and Sharon Rose Novak (gun runners par excellence), Bradley Jones (one man, teenage crime wave) and Mike and Owens Finnegan (space aliens?) If you've read this far into the review, you'll have noted that this is not your average formulaic action thriller. In fact, anyone who takes on "Iron River" is going to have to be somewhat tolerant of the strange sci/fi-ish turns that author Parker has thrown in here.

When all is said and done, Parker delivers a highly entertaining action story that is neither better nor worse for his dabbling in the supernatural. The characters are well-developed and the story context (the politically fractious border situation and complicating factors of gun and drug smuggling) is well informed, insightful and interesting. The story is cynical in outlook but holds out the possibility of redemption in a sequel. It delivers plenty of well-narrated action scenes to please any reader who is a fan of the genre. I was pulled into the saga of Charlie Hood, Mike Finnegan and Bradley Jones enough to buy the next installment whenever it appears. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of Iron River by T Jefferson Parker, 26 May 2010
By 
V. L. Harding (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Iron River (Hardcover)
T Jefferson Parker is a fine writer,I have read all his books starting way back with "Pacific Beat" and "Little Saigon." His stories have been one-offs but in his last three books he has created a character called Charley Hood. By this third book we know Charley fairly well. He is an ex-soldier now serving as a police officer, he is a thinker and also a bit of a loner, he also loves and respects his aging father and holds a fierce loyalty to the officers he works with. He is working with a small group tracing and apprehending illegal gun sales along the Mexican border. Charley learns of a gun factory planning to sell a consignment of guns to the Mexican drug cartel. One of the officers in Charley's group is abducted by the cartel, taken into Mexico and tortured. Charley's group enter Mexico illegally and with the help of some honest Mexican police officers attempt to rescue him. There is a mysterious old man injured in a hit and run, who Charley questions in hospital. He seems to possess psychic powers and prior knowledge of events affecting Charley's case. Bradley Jones also figures in the story, Bradley is the young son of Allison Murietta a former lover of Charley's. Allison was a descendant of Joaquin Murietta, a famous Mexican outlaw and Charley is trying to act as mentor to Bradley but believes his outlaw blood is leading him astray. Joaquin Murietta's shadow hangs over all three books with Jefferson Parker giving little snippets of information of his life. There is a great story to be told of Murietta including the event that first made him an outlaw. I think Jefferson Parker could do it justice. The author very rarely leaves any loose threads hanging in his stories but the old man vanishes leaving a message he will see Charley again and his relationship with Bradley is not resolved so I think we will see Charley further down the road. Another reason to keep checking Amazon's book publishing list.
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Iron River: A Charlie Hood Novel (Charlie Hood Novels)
Iron River: A Charlie Hood Novel (Charlie Hood Novels) by T. Jefferson Parker (Paperback - 4 Jan 2011)
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