T. Jefferson Parker


California Girl


I think this book falls neatly into that category of well written stories that werenít particularly written for me. I canít fault Parker on a book that has so many characters that it could easily have stumbled, yet he manages to ably paint a lot of contrasting personalities. Hey, I didnít live in the US in the 60s, but he seems to have made this background work well. The structure of centring around one family works to tie lots of strands together, and the narrative moves comfortably between, particularly, the journalist and the cop brothers.


Whatís not to like? So much to go wrong, and a neat trick that it didnít.


Like I say, this is more a personal reaction Ė I donít deny that itís a good book. I didnít particularly want to put the book down when I was reading it, yet neither did I have any particularly strong urge to pick it up again. Some of it may be cultural Ė perhaps others could relate more to the family and context. Nothing soared for me, particularly with the dialogue and narration, and having been spoiled with Chandler, that matters for me in this genre. I suppose I could have said the same for The Fallen, my introduction to Parker, but I enjoyed that more for the individuality and chivalry of the narrator. Maybe thatís part of it too: Parker has done more than just create a crime story, but where heís gone to do it did not particularly resonate with me. I suspect it was well targeted for a different audience.


June 2012