We’re talking California mysteries with prolific author and former Orange County newspaper reporter T. Jefferson Parker. Parker is back with a mystery set in the town of Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Carson dynasty rules the ski resort town, the site of an Olympic skiing qualifying race founded by family patriarch Adam. When Wylie Welborn, Adam's illegitimate grandson, returns after a stint in Afghanistan, it reopens a dark moment in Carson family history: the murder of Wylie's father by his jealous and very pregnant wife, Cynthia. But as Wylie falls in love and begins to imagine a life away from the violence that has shattered his family, history threatens to repeat itself and destroy them both. Read Christine's review here.
The Carson dynasty is cursed, or so some say. The family certainly does have its share of crazies, scoundrels, legends and the entitled.
The story opens and ends with the voice of Cynthia Carson who twenty-five years ago shot her husband in cold blood, absolutely positively. Throughout the story, I really wanted to dislike Cynthia, but she would occasionally surprise the reader. The concentric circle of characters begins with Wylie Wellborn, illegitimate son of Cynthia’s dead husband; her own sons, Robert and Sky; Adam Carson -- grandfather to all three;, Wylie’s sisters and his mother; and finally, Cynthia.
The Carson and Wellborn families both experience heartache and desperation.
None of the book’s characters is without fault, some more than others. How each individual deals with their own demons reveals the complexities of human nature.
The story is set against the backdrop of Mammoth Lakes ski resort, with its fantastic vistas and adrenaline pumping ski runs.
I was intrigued by the complicated families and their histories; the mysteries surrounding who is lurking around the Wellborn home and the theft of ski equipment, bicycles, etc. and who would ultimately survive. - Christine
Patrick Norris has seen the worst that Afghanistan has to offer--excruciating heat, bitter cold, and death waiting behind every rock as comrades are blown to pieces by bombs and snipers. He returns home exhilarated by his new freedom and eager to realize his dream of a sport fishing business. But he is shocked to learn that the avocado ranch his family has owned for generations in the foothills of San Diego has been destroyed by a massive wildfire and the parents he loves are facing ruin. Ted Norris worships his brother and yearns for his approval. Gentle by nature, but tormented by strange fixations with a dark undercurrent, Ted is drawn into a circle of violent, criminal misfits. His urgent quest to prove himself threatens to put those he loves in peril. Patrick puts his own plans on hold to save the family's home and falls in love with Iris, a beautiful and unusual woman, when disaster strikes. When Ted's plan for redemption goes terribly wrong, he tries to disappear. Desperate to find his brother and salvage what remains of his family, Patrick must make an agonizing choice. Three-time Edgar Award-winner T. Jefferson Parker is known for his many bestselling crime novels, from Laguna Heat to The Famous and the Dead. Full Measure marks a departure;it is a literary novel that explores many subjects, among them the bonds of loyalty between brothers.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Charlie Hood is attached to the ATF, working undercover on the illegal arms trade that flows across the U.S.-Mexico border. The sparkle of the diamond fillings he wears in his left canine distracts his task force targets and is often the first step toward a long stay behind bars. Meanwhile, Bradley Jones--sheriff's deputy, employee of the Baja Cartel, and son of the love of Charlie's life--is expecting a son of his own. Bradley, supposedly descended from the famed Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, has reaped the rewards of his treachery, keeping a hoard of cash and jewelry in a secret lair on his property. Charlie knows Bradley's secrets, all of them;the question is what he'll do with the information. But he still has to contend with the devilish Mike Finnegan, who flits in and out of the lives of his friends, knows things he should not know, is seemingly immortal, and delights in the havoc he wreaks in the orbits of everyone he touches ... All three are about to meet. But all will not survive .
Songwriter Erin McKenna, the wife of a crooked LA County sheriff's deputy, is kidnapped by drug cartel chief Benjamin Armenta. Remarkably, Armenta's demands aren't for ransom or police favors. He orders Erin to compose a unique narcocorrido -- a folk ballad that records the exploits of the drug dealers and outlaws who have populated Mexican history for generations. Under threat of death, Armenta wants Erin to tell his life story in music and to write "the greatest narcocorrido of all time." As the mesmerizing music and lyrics of Erin's song cascade from the jungle hideout, they serve as a siren song to the two men who love Erin: her outlaw husband, Bradley Jones, and lawman Charlie Hood. Here, amid the ancient beauty of the Yucatecan lowland, the long-simmering rivalry between these men will be brought closer to its explosive finale.