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Red Light (Merci Rayborn #2)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  713 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Two years after the death of Tim Hess, her partner and father of her child, Merci Rayborn, the Orange County homicide investigator introduced in Parker's insanely imaginative (New York Times Book Review) The Blue Hour, is back. Merci has finally pulled her life back together. She and her son are living with her father, a retired cop, and she is dating Mike McNally, a respe ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 2001 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Excellent second outing in Merci Rayborn series !!

Parker's second book in the homicide sergeant (Ms) Merci Rayborn series (of three so far) is definitely a sequel to his earlier work, "Blue Hour" [which if you haven't read that, STOP HERE:]. At the close of that book, Marci loses her temporary partner and one-night lover, Tim Hess, to a bullet meant for her, only to bear his son nine months later. Skipping ahead in fictional time two years to this book, we find Merci not at all over her loss an
Merci Rayborn returns in Red Light by T. Jefferson Parker. It's two years after Tim Hess died. She's dating Mike McNally - a fellow officer, has an 18-month-old son and lives with her father since her mother passed away. In this installment of the Rayborn series, a prostitute is murdered. But the catch is this prostitute has a tie to Merci's boyfriend, Mike McNally, and soon the evidence starts piling up against Mike as the murderer. Meanwhile, Merci has also been given a cold case to look into. ...more
Tim Warner
I love T Jefferson Parker. This was not up to the superior level of his others. The plot is great, but I had the impression that Parker was struggling to get through this book. I know I was, for sure. As much as he is a master at fleshing out his people, I had the impression that something else in Parker's life as he was working on this book, was commanding more of his emotional and mental focus. There were a couple of times I wanted to give up but I kept through, knowing that the next in this s ...more
Tom Tischler
Merci Rayborn an Orange County homicide detective is back after the
death of Tim Hess her partner and the father of her child. She has
put her life back together and is living with her father, a retired
cop and her son. She is dating Mike McNally a respected fellow officer.
A young prostitute is found murdered and Mike emerges as the prime
suspect. Now Merci must do the unthinkable expose and arrest her
lover. She must now shift through the facts and balance where the
truth leads her against where he
Cathy DuPont
Jun 20, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Read The Blue Hour first for clear understanding of characters
My third T. Jeffereson Parker book and by far my favorite.

Still wish there were 1/2 star ratings. This book, in my estimation, was very close to five stars especially since I gave four stars to the other two. Had to recall those books I did give five stars to in order to back off down to four. In my mind though, four and one-half stars.

Marci Rayborn is the protagonist and she's a wounded soul. Young but carrying the burden of a person who has been through a number of reincarnations all of which
RATING: 4.25

T. Jefferson Parker has long written stand-alone novels that have been very well received by the crime fiction community. In The Blue Hour, Parker introduced his first series character, Merci Rayborn, a tougher-than-nails female homicide detective. In that book, the deep freeze that is her heart is penetrated; but due to an unfortunate series of events, she loses what she has just found.

Red Light picks up where The Blue Hour left off. Merci is balancing a tough work life with being a
James Jackson
I listened to the audio version on an auto trip. Having enjoyed The Blue Hour I picked up this second one featuring Merci Rayborn. Parker's mystery/suspense novels are multi-layered and this was as well - in fact my reason for deducting a star was I felt a bit of overburdened by the layers.

The present situation involves Merci's investigation of a murdered hooker who had a relationship with her on again/off again boyfriend. Layered on top are her relationships with her bosses and co-workers. her
Homicide Detective Merci Rayborn is mourning the death of her former partner Tim Hess, who is the father of her two year old son Tim Jr. Her boss assigned her two murder cases, (1) cold case (unsolved case): a prostitute was murdered in 1969 who was found dead in an empty field, (2) a recent case: a young prostitute who was shot to death in her apartment.

The first case, few suspects were involved in the police department and influential people in Southern California's Orange County.

The second c
A classic whodunit story with a lady detective as the leading character, who pieces together all the evidence she has and comes up with a surprising suspect. Along the way she also tries to solve a cold case, a murder from 1969. And both seem to have something in common.

Good thrillers I read within a few days because they are quite easy to read and you want to know what happens next. This was also the case with this book, although it wasn't a 'suspenseful' thriller where you have to be afraid wh
The second of Parker's books feature the anti-hero Merci Rayborn, the first being the quite excellent "Blue Hour". This one, not so good as the first. Readable and enjoyable, but just not up to the same quality as the first.

Two main reasons for not liking this one as much as the first in the Rayborn series, the first being Rayborn herself. She seems too slow off the mark, too much lacking in police and detective insight, to have this job. She gets only glimpses of things you would imagine an exp
No, Red Light isn’t an anachronistic look at old-fashioned police cars, but it is a police procedural. In Red Light, T. Jefferson Parker uses the classic symbol of prostitution to demonstrate that the so-called “victimless crime” does have a victim, whether it is the strung-out hooker or the upscale “escort.” The fate of the victim is likely the same on either end of the socio-economic spectrum. Parker takes readers to the high end in Red Light but doesn’t necessarily offer relief. Instead, Red ...more
This is one of Parker's novels I missed (thought I had read them all) and it features the main character Merci Rayborn who is a deputy sheriff for Orange County, CA like her father and his friends, before her. This book has to do with one cold case which happened in 1969 and one current case, both of them homicides of prostitutes or call girls. I found it fascinating the way the author wove the strands of both stories together to arrive at a logical and coherent whole.
I don't think this was as strong as books 1 &3 in this series. After awhile I get tired of reading about police corruption, but Parker does make a decent mystery out of this story. Merci works on two separate mysteries separated by thirty years. One mystery embroils her lover and the other one seems to have deep roots in the departments history.

As time goes on Merci slowly realizes that doing the right thing may hurt the people she loves the most. Parker does a fantastic job describing the
Jo Jenner
I had never heard of this author and I won't be troubling him again.
Through out the book we are told what happened in book one of the series even though you should be able to read this as a stand alone. I at least don't need to read book one as I know nearly everything that happened in it. Some characters are obviously in book one and they are not introduced properly. In chapter two we "meet" Mike. We have no idea who he is and we are not told. It was only after I had reread chapter one looking
This book is full of dark intrigue and deep emotions. The characters and sense of place are so real.
Connie Marx
It was a good read, a little long in some parts, but I didn't want to put it down.
I always think a series should be read in order, but for the first time on my blog I’m going to say that you don’t have to read the first one to truly appreciate the second in this series. Here’s my review of the first one. I didn’t really care for Merci in Blue Hour, but I did like her in this one.

Merci is a homicide detective living with her young son and widowed father. She has a new partner, after her last one (and the father of her child) was killed, a love interest, and a new case that thr
Two years after the death of her partner and one-time lover, Tim Hess, Detective Sergeant Merci Rayborn is dealing not only with his loss, but the psychological wounds inflicted by the serial killer who murdered him and nearly got her as well. The once hard-driving Rayborn is still tough, but no longer invincible in her own eyes. She is devoted to her infant son, lives with her widowed father, and has a relationship with another cop, Mike McNally, that Mike wants to take further, but about which ...more
T Jeff is one of my favorite OC Writers (along with Don Winslow) despite being one of those novelists who claims to write 9 to 5, everyday, chained to his desk. I tend to doubt anyone works on first draft material eight hours a day (revisions, sure but not first drafts) and the idea of keeping an office schedule as an artist is a bit incongruous, even sad. Keeping a writing schedule is important, yes, but I tend to avoid anything that makes me feel like a cubicle monkey.

Having said that, the spe
Douglas Cook
A follow up to Blue Hour. Merci Rayborn, a police detective is unwilling [unable?] to trust anyone but herself. She believes her boyfriend may have murdered a prostitute.

First paragraph
Chapter One “Out of the way, please. Sheriff's investigator. Come on now. Out.” Merci Rayborn ducked under the ribbon and continued down the walk. Her heart was beating fast and her senses were jacked up high, registering all at once the cars hissing along Coast Highway to her left, waves breaking on the other sid
Kirsten Lenius
Merci is an officer with the sherrif's department; her father was in law-enforcement before her.

She is still traumatized by the loss of her former partner and lover when they faced a serial killer together and the near loss of her young son in an accident on the water.

She finds herself investigating the murder of a prostitute and soon learns that her current gentleman friend might be the prime suspect in the young woman's murder.

I had a hard time keeping focused on this book. The writing was a
#2 in the Merci Rayborn series. Finalist 2001 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel.

Merci Rayborn is dealing with the death of ex-partner Tim Hess and the birth of their son, Tim Jr. She is dating fellow officer, Mike McNalley and her current case of a murdered prostitute has ties to Mike. An annual distribution of cold cases gives her a 30 year old homicide of a prostitute with ties to Mike's father and possibly to her ex-cop father as well.

HNC Library
This book was by staff member Carol Mitchell as part of the Six Book Challenge. Here is her review:

"A fast paced crime thriller. Keeps you guessing, guilty or innocent, two crimes set decades apart but Merci (the detective) finds a link, worse is her fellow detective and lover (Mike) is the main suspect in one murder, but how is it linked and is he guilty? Anyone who likes a good thriller - it is a must read."
Three stars only because T. Jefferson Parker is a good writer.Parker writes of California with the good, the bad and the ugly. This was the second book in the Merci Rayborn series. Wasn't sure if I'd like Merci, a cop with the Orange County Sheriff,by page 250 I was almost certain I did not! I enjoy a dark mystery but this story had too many messed up people carrying guns,while making life changing decisions. I have never under stood that; "He's one of Our's" mentality among certain groups of pe ...more
Second in the Merci Rayborn series & although not as good as "Blue Hour" (book #1), this was a very enjoyable read. I thought it started veering off course about 2/3 of the way, but was wrapped up nicely. I LOVE the strong female that Merci is!I like how flawed she is, and how she really does not care what others think of her. I especially enjoy how she tries to grow as a detective & as a mom.
Louise Pledge
I used to buy Parker's books for my library, since they were popular among the patrons. However, I never took time to read them, myself. Finally, I purchased two for my Kindle but wasn't real motivated to keep returning to the story. I can appreciate his writing ability but wish he'd had a half-way (at least) thorough proof reader. And I'm still a little confused by the ending of this one.
This is only the 2nd T. Jefferson books I've listed/read and I know I will listen/read more. He's a good story teller. This is 2nd in the Mercy Rayborn series. Mercy has to investigate a prostitutes murder. As she digs deeper in to the woman's life she finds her current boyfriend knows this person and could somehow be involved with the murder. Then she is handed a cold case from her boss of another prostitute murdered 30 years before. As she investigates that one she starts seeing similarities i ...more
Ann Wilcox
I thoroughly enjoyed rereading the three Merci Rayborn books by T Jefferson Parker. They felt comfortable and it had been long enough since I read them the first time that I had forgotten most of the story lines. Wish there had been more, but at least we left her in a good place.
Dan Smith
Parker does not miss with his books and this is no exception. I had not read any of the Merci Clayborne stories before now and I do like it. I think he has another hit
Hail T. Jefferson!

Plot moves at the speed of light - characters turn and twist along to the denouement. Merci Rayborn has arrived.
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Thousand Oaks Rea...: T. Jefferson Parker's "Red Light" 1 2 Nov 07, 2012 05:09AM  
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T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of 20 crime novels, including Edgar Award-winners Silent Joe and California Girl. Parker's next work is a literary novel, Full Measure, to be published in October. He lives with his family in Southern California
More about T. Jefferson Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Merci Rayborn (3 books)
  • The Blue Hour
  • Black Water (Merci Rayborn #3)
L.A. Outlaws (Charlie Hood, #1) Silent Joe California Girl The Blue Hour The Fallen

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