But for the Becker brothers, the past is always present and it comes crashing back when the body of the lovely and mysterious Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned orange packinghouse. The Beckers and Vonns have a history, beginning years ago in high school with a rumble between the brothers of each clan.
But boys grow up. Now one Becker brother is a cop on his first homicide case. One's a minister yearning to perform just one miracle. One is a reporter drunk with ambition. And all three are about to collide with the changing world of 1968 as each brother, in his own special way, tries to find Janelle's killer.
As the suspects multiply and secrets are exposed, the Becker brothers are all drawn further into the case, deeper into the past, and closer to the danger.
(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Edgar Award, Best Novel, 2005
When T. (homas?) Jefferson was learning how to construct a mystery novel, he certainly paid close attention the day they discussed tying up loose ends. Putting to bed a story this complicated is no mean feat but he accomplishes it, painfully I must add.. I suppose there's a murder mystery in there somewhere, but frankly this effort is so complex and because each and every nuance is taken right down to the molecular level, the thing does not track well.
Add to that some implausible, even bizarre, occurrences (like raising the dead), and I had a hell of a time trying to decide just where the hell all this was going.
I suspect Mr. Jefferson may have taken preparation, particularly his investigation of the psychedelic drug scene, a tad too far. In fact, the story line meanders so far off on bilious tangents throughout this that I suspect these side trips must have been fueled by THC or LSD.
So mix in Tele-evangelists, the John Birch Society, organic citrus-based cleaning emulsions, homosexuality, pedophilia, drive-in cathedrals, the Vietnam war and cameos by Dick Nixon and Chuck Manson! (just to name a few) and you will soon discover that California Girl is definitely a long strange trip indeed. He did forget a tribute to the Great White Shark, however.
I didn't care who dunnit, I simply wanted it to end!
I am stunned that it actually won an Edgar. Preposterous!!!
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