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Cover image for L.A. outlaws : a novel
L.A. outlaws : a novel

Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale Cengage, 2008.
Physical Description:
543 pages (large print) ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
Investigating the latest crime scene of a celebrity thief who has been staging lucrative heists and donating the spoils to charity, rookie deputy Charlie Hood embarks on an affair with a key witness and is forced to make an ethics-testing decision when the thief is targeted by a professional killer.


Call Number
LP Parker

On Order


Author Notes

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 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)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

The irresistible antihero of this outstanding thriller from bestseller Parker (Laguna Heat) calls herself Allison Murrieta and claims to be a descendant of Joaquin Murrieta, a 19th-century figure who looms large in California folklore (he was either a ruthless robber and killer or an Old West vigilante and Robin Hood). By day, Allison is Suzanne Jones, an eighth-grade history teacher with three sons in Los Angeles; by night, she dons a mask, straps on her derringer and steals from the greedy. Beloved by the media, she never uses the gun; her victims are never sympathetic; and she gives part of her loot to charity. But while stealing diamonds belonging to a master criminal known as the Bull, she witnesses a gangland-style bloodbath at the hands of Lupercio, a ruthless assassin working for the Bull. As she's leaving the scene of the crime, L.A. sheriff's deputy Charles Hood stops her, and that's when the plot gets complicated. The Bull wants his diamonds back. Lupercio knows Murrieta/Jones took them. Hood wants Jones to identify Lupercio. And the public wants to know who Murrieta really is. This tour de force of plotting and characterization may well be Parker's best book. Author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

A legendary outlaw's DNA plays an unlikely role in Parker's latest winner (Storm Runners, 2007, etc.). "Here's the deal," proclaims our heroine at the opening of the novel. "I am the direct descendent of the outlaw Joaquin Murrieta," whose questionable virtues she goes on to extol. Apparently, he could charm, chill and kill with equal facility. But in 1853, Joaquin's larcenous career was ended the hard way by a contingent of Texas Rangers: They shot him dead, then cut his head off. Some say the year was 1878. Some say he didn't die or live at all, that he was a romantic myth, an amalgam of at least three Joaquin-like desperadoes. Numbered among the skeptical you would never find Suzanne Elizabeth Jones. She's the beautiful mother of three and currently employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District as a history teacher. She is also self-employed, involved in work that has been giving Southern California law enforcement fits for some little time. Masked, bewigged and packing her palm-sized Ca¿onita (.40 caliber, ivory-handled derringer), she steals from the rich and, on occasion, shares a portion of the plunder with the poor and/or deserving. As a memento after each victimization, she leaves behind her card: "You have been robbed by Allison Murrieta. Have a nice day." Life changes abruptly for Suzanne (aka Allison) when she stumbles upon the aftermath of a fire fight that has left ten gangsters dead, and she discovers diamonds worth some $400,000. She takes the gems, setting off a chain of events that leads to violence and death, passion and love. In this latter regard, enter Charlie Hood, a good cop and good man who understands the ferocity inherent in Suzanne/Allison's nature--a side of her as wild as it is deterministic. All the requisite action-suspense: No one does thriller-with-heart better than Parker. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they could very well spell doom for L.A. outlaw Allison Murrieta. For years, Allison, a direct descendant of nineteenth-century Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, has reveled in the deception of her double life. When the lovely L.A. schoolteacher known to family and friends as Suzanne Jones dons a jeweled mask and wig, she becomes lawbreaker Murrieta, boosting cars, robbing fast-food joints, and taunting the media with sadistic glee. Now Allison's thirst for beautiful things has landed her in the middle of a payoff gone bad between a diamond broker and two of L.A.'s most sinister gangs. In the moments following the altercation, she's pulled over by rookie deputy Charlie Hood, who is pretty sure Suzanne (as she calmly claims to be) is involved but can't yet prove how. Hood, who has survived two tours in Iraq, must simultaneously protect and pursue Suzanne as she's hunted by a machete-wielding Salvadoran gangster who leaves a trail of gore wherever he goes. This is the fifteenth thriller from two-time Edgar winner Parker, who once again displays his knack for creating captivating characters and his unabashed passion for California lore. Only two other authors Dick Francis and James Lee Burke have won the Edgar for best novel twice. Don't be surprised if Parker is on his way to a third.--Block, Allison Copyright 2007 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Who doesn't love an outlaw, especially one who donates to charity and never injures a soul? Believing herself a direct descendant of the legendary Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, Allison Murrieta teaches history in public schools by day and steals cars and robs fast-food restaurants in her free time. Her outlaw life is going well until she witnesses the gory aftermath of a diamond heist gone awry-then runs off with the diamonds. Let the chase begin. Certain characters, both criminals and law officers, will do most anything to get their hands on these diamonds. Allison's biggest problem-aside from staying alive-is how to handle smitten LA sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood, who until now has channeled all his youthful energy into doing the honorable thing. Edgar Award winner Parker (Storm Runners) packs in so many characters and subplots that his speed-driven crime novel sometimes bogs down like a freeway at rush hour. But his ability to evoke the cultural landscape of Southern California, with all its audacity and media obsession, is spot-on. Expect high demand and buy for all popular fiction collections.-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.