Prior to listening to LA Outlaws I was a T. Jefferson Parker fan. Both the book and the production were disappointing .. here are a few reasons why:
..Show More » 1. The story is scattered and weak. The author uses a shotgun to make too many points. He is firing at a distance, so he only barely hits most of the targets. He often digressed from the story and ranted about all the little things for which he has never had a proper forum, and each digression detracted more and more from the storyline.
2. In the first few hours I figured out one of the main "bad guys" and it was so obvious that I kept thinking "surely it's a trick; the story will be better than that." Nope.
3. As badly as I wanted to empathize with the characters, it just didn't happen. Oh, there were a few sparks .. but then they were quickly extinguished. Particular with the main character, the author worked hard at showing her "good side" versus her "bad side" in a totally black and white manner as make her schizophrenic .. and yet we are to believe she is an award winning high school teacher.
4. The production stinks. The male reader's voice does not fit most of the characters. The use of the two voices in opposition to each other and some sound effects somehow doesn't work. It seemed like an attempt of using gimmicks to take my mind off the point: weak story.
5. This book was an affront to me as a discerning reader and Audible listener. It's been a few years since I listened to some marvelous works by this author. Throughout this production I kept thinking that friends or family members or an agent convinced him to bring it to Audible because we wouldn't know how bad it was and it would sell based on his name. It did ... and I'm sad and angry at the deception.
Yeah, a few years ago I had to make up a new verb when Patricia Cornwell was at the point where she and/or her publishers realized they could sell any..Show More »thing with her name on it. She tried that attempt at a comic novel and in several books I could not tell if one character was dead or back alive or what. Some have done this more successfully like Patterson and Clancy who are essentially publisher/brands now.
This is T.J.'s chance to go either way. I have read or heard at least 80% of his work. I hope the next one doesn't have a stupid plot with characters who were 'ok' for the first book that introduced them. This horse is dead. Please get on a new one and ride...like Ridley Pearson did...Oh and Colacci is still good except in his world they all say "EYEther" in stead of "EEEther" every time in every book.
I have read/listened to all of the previous Charlie Hood novels as well as the Merci Rayborn series from this author and generally enjoy Parker's nove..Show More »ls. Unfortunately, the continued interactions with the Mike Finnegan character means this will likely be my last. I believe it was somewhere in Book 3 that an otherwise interesting story went Twilight.
I have purchased the last two books hoping that there would be some sort of believable resolution to the meddlesome and wholly unbelievable (and annoying) Finnegan but it seems he is in for the long haul. If you are open to books about otherworldly notions, the novel may still be interesting but I found it off-putting, distracting, and don't feel that this aspect of the book adds anything to the story.
Mike Finnegan aside, the general plot didn't feel at all compelling. There many elements in the story that either didn't seem believable (despite my lack of drug-lord interactions) or don't really move the plot along in any meaningful way -- Hood's journey to the castle, Heredia's narcos, the McKenna-Armenta interactions. I quite enjoyed Iron River and the previous books and wish Parker would return to this style.