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Black Waterby T. Jefferson Parker
Synopses & Reviews
Detective Merci Rayborn is back! From the bestselling, Edgar-nominated author comes a new novel crackling with murder, love, betrayal — and marking the highly anticipated return of detective Merci Rayborn.
Welcome to a cat and mouse game that only bestselling novelist T. Jefferson Parker could script. A beautiful young woman is dead in the bathroom of her home. Her husband — a promising young cop named Archie Wildcraft — is shot in the head but still alive. It looks like an attempted murder/suicide, but something tells Detective Merci Rayborn that there's more to the story. When the suspect vanishes from his hospital bed, he draws Merci into a manhunt that leaves the entire department questioning her abilities and her judgment. Is Archie's flight the act of a ruined mind, or a faithful heart? Is his account of the night his wife was murdered half-formed memory, or careful manipulation? Merci and Wildcraft head for a collision in a dizzying succession of cryptic clues, terrifying secrets, and painful truths. This sharp new thriller will satisfy Parker fans across the country — and leave first-time readers clamoring for more.
"Parker...writes at the top of his form....He juggles skeins of emotions (if you don't like sentiment, introspection and reflectiveness, this is not your kind of book) and lets them make sense even when they don't." Eugen Weber, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[Rayborn is] remains a fascinating (if somewhat distressing) character to watch....Though lacking the kind of explosive finale that marks most of Parker's novels, this latest is a showcase for mood, setting and pace." Publishers Weekly
"Merci is so perversely enjoyable that Parker could probably spin his color-coded series all the way to vermilion." People
"Parker scores again with a heroine whose steely toughness is leavened by warmth and vulnerability. It's a pleasure to spend time with her." Kirkus Reviews
"[A]n excellent crime novel driven by Parker's recurrent theme of loss and isolation through illness or injury....A thoughtful, multilayered tale in which crime is a catalyst rather than the centerpiece." Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
"Parker has written another winner....
Merci Rayborn, T. Jefferson Parker's stubborn, principled Orange County detective, is almost alone in believing that deputy Archie Wildcraft didn't kill his beautiful young wife and then turn his service weapon on himself. The evidence against Wildcraft--now hospitalized with a bullet lodged in his head--seems overwhelming. But Merci, who's still unpopular for exposing an old police scandal that caused the death of one cop and the ruination of others (The Blue Hour), is resisting pressure from her boss and a headline-hunting D.A. to arrest Wildcraft and charge him with murder. Then the deputy, who's lost his memory and maybe his mind as a result of his injury, goes missing from his hospital room, intent on tracking down the real killers and managing to stay a step ahead of Merci. Soon, they both begin to realize that Gwen Wildcraft wasn't killed because she got in the way of an attempted hit on her husband--it was the other way around. Parker, whose skills at characterization are as well honed as his expert pacing and intricate plotting, has penned another standout that will keep readers guessing and gasping until the last dramatic page. --Jane Adams
About the Author
T. Jefferson Parker is the award-winning author of nine previous novels, including Silent Joe, The Blue Hour, and Red Light--which was nominated for an Edgar Award for best novel. He lives in Fallbrook, California.
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