The Famous and the Dead: Book summary and reviews of The Famous and the Dead by T. Jefferson Parker

The Famous and the Dead

A Charlie Hood Novel

By T. Jefferson Parker

The Famous and the Dead
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

Los Angeles County sheriff 's deputy Charlie Hood is attached to the ATF, working undercover on the iron river that flows across the U.S.-Mexican border. The diamond fillings he wears in his left canine glimmer, distracting the men who sell the illegal firearms that enable the unspeakable violence on both sides of the map. Spotting the sparkle when "Charlie Diamonds" opens his mouth is often their first step toward life behind bars.

Meanwhile, Bradley Jones, sheriff 's deputy and employee of the Baja Cartel, son of the love of Charlie's life, the deceased L.A. outlaw Suzanne Jones, is expecting a son of his own. Suzanne was descended from famed Mexican desperado Joaquin Murrieta, whose embalmed head Bradley inherited from her and keeps nestled among piles of cash, proceeds from Bradley's own life of crime.

Charlie knows all of Bradley's secrets; the question is what he'll do with the information. Until he decides, his obsession remains the inexplicable existence of Mike Finnegan, the diminutive devil who flits in and out of both men's lives, knowing things he shouldn't, seemingly immortal.

Three men: earnest law-enforcer, inveterate lawbreaker, and the man who pits them against each other - hurtle toward one another in the jaw-dropping conclusion to T. Jefferson Parker's mesmerizing vision of the border. Their climactic showdown brings to a spectacular close a crime series that obliterated the boundaries of the genre.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This highly impressive thriller demonstrates how genre fiction can take on substantial themes in an entertaining and provocative way." - Publishers Weekly

"Part cops-versus–drugs-and-guns procedural, part elemental morality play, part fire-and-brimstone mythmaking, all of it inimitably Parker." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Parker's knack for intriguing characters and steadily escalating suspense make this a memorable finish to a standout series." - Booklist

"Parker pulls it all together in a rather complex plotline that first-time readers might find confusing and slow-paced for a police procedural. But series fans will want this." - Library Journal

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Author Information

T. Jefferson Parker Author Biography

Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Parker was educated in public schools in Orange County, California, and took a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976. He was honored in 1992 as the Distinguished Alumnus.

His writing career began in 1978, as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, The Newport Ensign. After covering police, city hall and cultural stories for the Ensign, Parker moved on to the Daily Pilot newspaper, where he won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. All the while he was tucking away stories and information that he would use in his first book.

Laguna Heat, written on evenings and weekends while he worked as a journalist, was published to rave reviews and made into an HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin, Jason Robards and...

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