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The Jaguar Paperback – 17 May 2012
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"A thoughtful-yet-action-packed meditation on what happens when good people are forced to assist bad people."--"The San Diego Union-Tribune""
""Parker once again, has delivered a novel that shows why he's been called his generation's most accomplished and talented crime novelist."--"The Examiner""
""Parker demonstrates remarkable command of his material, from the greusome realities of the Mexican drug trade to a surprisingly human portrayal of the monstrous Armenta...a crime thriller notable for its fine, insightful prose."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)
"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" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
T. Jefferson Parker is a New York Times Best Selling Author. He was born in Los Angeles and has lived all his life in Southern California. He wrote his first novel, Laguna Heat, while working as a journalist covering crime and culture for the Newport Ensign. Laguna Heat received rave reviews, was produced as a movie and made the New York Times Best Seller list. His following novels, all located in sunny, southern California, also received rave reviews, have appeared on many best seller lists, and been awarded many prizes. His writing has been described as 'potent and irresistible' (L.A. Times) and 'resonant, literate and powerful' (Kirkus).
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It's the fifth part of the Charlie Hood series, and although I'd never encountered this particular sequence of novels previously, I didn't feel too much of a disadvantage when reading this. And, if you're interested, Parker has since published the sixth volume this year, enitled 'The Famous and the Dead'.
'The Jaguar' kicks off with the kidnap of a talented singer/songwiter named Erin McKenna, who happens to be newly-wed to
Bradley Jones, a crooked Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. Jones is in bed (so to speak) with some pretty powerful drugs guys, but naturally, he wants his beautiful wife back.
It soon becomes obvious who the kidnapper is and he's asking for a million bucks or he'll skin the lovely Erin alive.
T.J.(if I may call him that) seems to me to be a take him or leave him kind of author. I found myself liking this book quite a lot, but it certainly won't suit all tastes. For a start it may seem to the causal reader to be 'a bit all over the place' stylistically, but I'd advise anyone who's begun reading it and maybe thinking of abandoning the book, to stick with it: it's ultimately a very good, suspensful read.
The story is a little more complicated than that though; as Erin is a musician and her kidnapper wants her to write him a song (and eventually 12!) which will tell his story in the style of a narcocorrido. Oh and there is a mad priest and his acolytes, a leper colony and a mysterious woman in the house as well.
This is where suspension of disbelief becomes impossible! The story becomes TOO complicated and tries to be a lot more than it should. It ends up as a story with too many people and too many strands. This could have been a good book but with mysterious people manipulating things from afar, mad priests, psychopathic rapists, three warring cartels and police involvement it becomes so hard to follow even the author loses the plot at times.
There are minor errors such as Erin leaves her room wearing a dress and shawl and when she reaches the leper colony (after a short trip in the lift) she is in jeans and a shirt! The written content of a letter changes during the story. And why does someone who has become a major drug kingpin not search his kidnapped victim or his chief of security not check the toilet cistern for hidden items. He searches everywhere else?
MINOR SPOILER -There are plenty of examples like this throughout the novel but there are BIG problems in the story too, the one that really annoyed me was a big gap between Bradley being tortured by the police and being in the jungle completing the heroic rescue....
All these errors (which show bad editorial and proofreading as well as initial writing) left me frustrated with what could have been a good romp through Mexico with the musical twist.
But I just didn't stop reading it.
The scenes are well told and carefully researched leaving really vivid pictures that can be enjoyed and dismayed by in equal measures. The book split the narrative nicely in the middle which lead to more questions about what resolution would be reached and how which kept me guessing.
Ultimately it was a decent read; though I'm not rushing out to buy any of the other books in the series, I would pick it up from a library.
It is well written and there are some interesting characters but it seemed a bit too over the top.
It can be read on its own but I felt that I missed out a lot by not having read any of the other books in the series. It wasn't self-contained enough and the ending was an anti-climax.
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Most recent customer reviews
When it did end it seemed a bit sudden.
I like the author and his style.