My local reading friend and I both love mysteries so we were talking about writers who won or were nominated for the yearly Edgars. From there we went on a venture to find and read as many authors as possible in that category. T. Jefferson Parker was Sandy’s find and she was bragging about him from the first book.
I was reading Michael Connelly and figured he couldn’t be as good as she felt he was because I had never heard of him. Wrong once again.
Great book, great characters and great plot all wrapped up into this nice package.
Detective Robbie Brownlaw was thrown from a six story building while trying to save an occupant who happened to be a little drunk and a lot suicidal. Robbie survives but is left with synesthesia, a neurological condition where your senses get ‘mixed up.’ His form of synesthesia is his ability to see colored forms from the mouths of people when they are talking so that he ‘sees’ their real emotion regardless of what they say. This gives him the ability to hear what people are saying and determine at the same time their real emotion. For example, a lie or deception would have red squares floating from their mouth, so Robbie knows the person is lying. Robbie sees all other human emotions such as sympathy, anger, apathy, happiness, violence or envy all with different shapes and colors. Envy is indeed the color green.
This ability assists Robbie as a detective with the San Diego Police Department however no one knows of his ability except his adored wife, Gina. He’s kept his ability to himself in part because he feels the SDPD would not allow him to continue in his career and others, of course, would think he was crazy or odd. They do already because he survived the six story fall.
A fellow officer of a separate ethics law enforcement agency commits suicide while investigating ethics violations in city government and it is quickly determined to be a murder.
Robbie and his partner Detective Mackenzie Cortez are assigned to the investigation which leads them to unravel what the ethics officer discovered. Two personal matters interfere with the investigation, both Robbie’s personal life with his wife Gina and the personal life of the ethics detective.
This was one of those books I did not want to put down. You’ve read them. I hated it when at night I would fall asleep reading because I would have read until the wee hours of the morning.
Looking back at the Jeff Parker books I’ve read, I gave two three stars and two, including this one, four stars. Damn good track record for an author I didn’t know and wasn’t even interested in reading. This one deserved all four stars and perhaps five if I wasn’t so stingy with those five stars.