Monday, May 9, 2011

T. Jefferson Parker

T. Jefferson Parker is one of my favorite writers and a really great longtime friend. If you're not reading his Charlie Hood series right now you're missing out on something great. (The picture above was taken while he was doing research for the books in Veracruz.) Jeff graciously wrote an introduction for the new e-book of SHOOTERS and I'm posting it here just in case you're still not sure about parting with that $2.99 on Amazon.

T. Jefferson Parker

Shooters is a noir tour of L.A. that only Terrill Lee Lankford can guide. He's got one finger on the pulse of high fashion and another on the world of hardcore and when they meet – well, it's hard not to look. Although this book was first published in 1997, its roots stretch back to the roaring 80s, as narrator Nick Gardner says in the prologue to Shooters:

This story is a by-product of the eighties, the Reagan years, when the wrong people made a lot of money the wrong way. I was one of those people. The seventies had been rough. The late-seventies recession made work in my chosen profession – photography – difficult. When the economy opened up a few years later, I didn’t stop to ask stupid questions, I started panning up the ore like every other jerk. I never thought about the mine playing out or someone showing up with a huge bill. I felt charmed.”

Of course, Shooters is all about paying the huge bill, and the waiter who presents the bill is history itself. Perhaps not oddly, our current republic feels sunk in the same kind of morass that Lankford invokes from decades past -- our freewheeling days resoundingly defeated by moral and economic turpitude. We sense parallel hangovers. There is a sense in Shooters that the goodwill of the fates has run thin and all hell is about to break loose. Sound familiar?
It's wonderful to read a crime novel that embraces and reflects a specific time and place. As a longtime L.A. filmmaker, Terrill Lee Lankford knows the city and its decades well. Through Nick, who is part American Gigolo and part American Psycho, Lankford has created a perfect voice of America's Los Angeles in the 1980s. I think it's a tale with legs, one that will continue to resound.
But doubt not that Shooters is built for speed and handling, not for soccer transport or sensible gas mileage. It's thrill a minute sexy and bad to the bone. It's an authentic part of the L.A. canon.

-- T. Jefferson Parker

author of Iron River and The Border Lords

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