There’s been a lot of hoopla surrounding T. Jefferson Parker’s CALIFORNIA GIRL, including an Edgar nomination, but (you can probably see where this is going) I was underwhelmed. T.J. Parker is one of my favorite writers and I look forward to each of his books. While I liked CALIFORNIA GIRL, I didn’t think it was his best work or the crowning achievement of his career, as some of my friends have said. To me, that honor has to go to SILENT JOE, which is still my favorite of his books. I also liked LAGUNA HEAT, BLUE HOUR and RED LIGHT a lot… and more than CALIFORNIA GIRL (then again, you can’t go wrong with any of his books).
That’s not to say CALIFORNIA GIRL isn’t a fine book with lots going for it… but after all the hoopla, and the terrific books of his that preceded it, I was expecting more. Perhaps that was the problem…the reviews and the acclaim amped my expectations way too high.
3 thoughts on “California Girl”
See, here’s where I agree with you. I thought it a very good book but the prologue deflated a lot of the tension that was supposed to build up throughout the course of the book, and the epilogue was too rushed.
I love Parker’s books but whenever I feel like I want to take a red pen to a book and say “no, here’s how it should be edited,” well…it says something.
I was also disappointed in the plotting. There was never any question who the real murderer was or how things would turn out. Losing the prologue, however, certainly would have helped. The more I think about Parker’s books, I wonder if BLUE HOUR isn’t my favorite afterall..it’s certainly neck-and-neck with SILENT JOE. They both had many of the same themes as CALIFORNIA GIRL but were, in my opinion, far better executed.
BLUE HOUR is brilliant.