Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finished: "Border Lords" by T. Jefferson Parker

Finished: Border Lords by T. Jefferson Park, 2011, 9780525952008.

Dichotomy thy name is T. Jefferson Parker. Another Charlie Hood novel. Honest and straightforward Deputy Hood is still assigned to an ATF task force intercepting guns headed for Mexico.

Hood and ATF agents secretly control a safe house near the border that currently houses a cartel's hired killers. Someone busts in and kills all three Mexican hitmen. The killer is an undercover ATF agent, Oz, who has gone rogue. Hood looks for Oz. Hood works with Oz's wife. Oz and wife have peculiar sickness with varied symptoms. Deputy Bradly continues his dark ways. Brad uses his friends in Le Eme to track down kidnapped kid, Brad's plan to spring kid leaves three people dead. Devil guy appears throughout novel manipulating Oz.

Things happen. Hood looks. Brad schemes. Oz travels in light plane. Devil guy schemes. Rabies runs deep.

1. Parker is steadily moving away from Hood and his life. Hood is still the primary character but he shares more space with other characters. No more late night driving and listening to the Bakersfield sound. Hood's personal relationships outside work are largely absent in this one.

2. Parker has been focusing on good versus evil and the evil within. The dichotomy appears in most main characters. Many characters have both thoughts within them but are bent one way or another. Hood is the anamoly: Hood is a Boy Scout and unable to go wrong. Brad is naturally bent from heritage and upbringing. Brad sees vvil as untapped potential.

3. Theme of obsessive love.

4. If I were to attempt literary theory I could can take that dicothomy theme further: US-Mexican border, sky versus ground with Oz's airplane, obsessive and rational love, reason versus superstition, blah, blah, blah.

5. Off the cover: Adrenaline-fueled. Really, you're sticking with that description? Sheesh. I think Border Lords is much more laid back than the previous three Hood novels with less violence and action.

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