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    Review of STORM RUNNERS by T. Jefferson Parker

    William Morrow, February 2007

    Matt Stromsoe's dogged pursuit of gang leader and former best friend Mike Tavarez results in the death of his wife and young son in a bomb explosion meant for him. But now Tavarez is behind bars with no chance of parole, and Stromsoe--minus one eye and one finger, his body riddled with hardware--is left to rebuild his life.

    The former narcotics detective goes to work for an old friend's private security company, and his first assignment is to protect a beautiful TV meteorologist, Frankie Hatfield, from a persistent stalker. Of course the case is more complex than it appears on the surface. Frankie is being stalked not because she is a glamorous celebrity, but because she just might know the secret to making rain. A conspiracy to stop Frankie at all costs leads back to some powerful figures at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, one director in particular, who finds Stromsoe's interference troubling. Knowing Stromsoe's history, he takes advantage of the bad blood between Stromsoe and Tavarez. Tavarez, who is still the most powerful figure in the most powerful prison gang in the West, is eager to use his connections to exact more vengeance on the man he failed to kill before.

    As always, Parker's tale--which calls to mind Chinatown--is full of fascinating characters in a fully drawn world that reads as if you could walk right into it. As a matter of fact, Parker did weave this tale around an actual person--Charlie Hatfield, the fictitious Frankie Hatfield's grandfather--who was hired in 1916 by the city of San Diego to produce rain and did his job so well that the city experienced record-breaking floods.

    The plot twists and the rather sweet romance subplot make Storm Runners a fast-moving page-turner. The ending is predictable, but the overall reading experience exciting and satisfying and even a little optimistic.

    Four Stars

    See more reviews of novels by T. Jefferson Parker.

    Reviewed 4/13/07

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