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Black Water

Jefferson Parker

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HarperCollins

Published : 2003

Copyright : T. Jefferson Parker 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-712217-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-712217-2

Publisher's Write-Up

If you like Michael Connolly you'll LOVE Jefferson Parker.

A beautiful young woman lies dead in the bathroom of her home. Her husband - a promising young cop named Archie Wildcraft - is found 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.

'If you're seeking a thinking man's bestseller, Jefferson Parker is the writer for you.'

Washington Post Book World

'Parker at the top of his form.'

Los Angeles Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (011202) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
The blurb on the back of this novel says that if you like Michael Connolly, then you will love Jefferson Parker, and I have to say that I definitely do the former and almost agree with the latter... this is a very accomplished book.

We have a young couple coming home at the beginning of the book and we see what happens. Then we see the subsequent investigation with some members of the police department believing that the young man, a policeman, could have been guilty in spite of being friends with him.

The lead detective, Merci Rayborn, believes in his innocence and tries to look from every angle at the evidence as a previous case showed her that she should not take the evidence at face value.

Merci and her partner Zamorra seem to have quite a lot of history and without reading some more by Parker, I can only take from the bio page that there are two other novels in which she stars. The story alludes to a history, but enough is filled in that it does not really matter whether you have read any of the other books.

It is a really well paced and measured thriller, you know at the beginning what happened from Archie's point of view, but you then have to watch the police come to the same conclusions. Merci wants to believe that Archie did not commit the crime that she is investigating, and looks for the facts that fit her assumption. In doing this she finds herself the victim of a degree of hostility, some of which is a hangover from a case involving a fellow cop who she proved to be corrupt.

The trail leads Merci an awful lot further than Archie realised before he was shot. She finds that this clean-cut American couple spent thousands of dollars more than would have been possible on a policeman's salary in the few months before they died. Merci starts to follow the trail of the money to find out what happened to Archie and his wife.

It is not the most action packed thriller I have ever read, but I think that maybe it is supposed to be more cerebral. Merci is a thinking police person, and we see her cogitations and her confusion as a result of the case that made her doubt her initial reactions.

On the surface, I thought of Merci as rather a cold fish, but beneath the surface, she is really quite sweet, and even though this was the first Merci story I had read, I was glad when it looked like she and Zamorra were going to get it together… soppy or what? :)
Chrissi (1st December 2002)

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