California Girl

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I had never read a T. Jefferson Parker book before. This one won the 2005 Edgar Award for Best (mystery) Novel; that was the main reason I picked it up. And it's (of course) quite good.

If a bit tiring and long. Most of the book is set in late 1968 in California's Orange County. All three surviving Becker brothers, a cop, a reporter, and a pastor, are involved in the murder of Janelle Vonn, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with whom they'd been involved since childhood.

There are cameos from Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, and Charles Manson. The Southern California of the late sixties is painted with a broad brush: drugs, Birchers, drive-in churches, the sexual revolution, everything gets trotted out. T. Jefferson is a pretty good writer and keeps everything going for about 400 pages, but the ending is a little flat.

Last Modified 2024-02-03 7:58 AM EDT