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The Border Lords: A Charlie Hood Novel (Charlie Hood #4)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  737 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Charlie Hood searches for an undercover agent who has disappeared, only to resurface in a haunting series of bizarre and inexplicable video tapes. The trail leads Charlie into the fevered landscape of America's southern border and the unexplored depths of humanity's dark soul.
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by New American Library (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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James Thane
This is the fourth book in T. Jefferson Parker's Charlie Hood series, and it takes off right where the third, Iron River, concluded. L.A. County Deputy Sheriff Charlie Hood is on loan to Operation Blowdown, which is essentially an ATF operation aimed at shutting down the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico.

Another member of the Blowdown team is Sean Ozburn who has been deep under cover for well over a year, posing as a gun and meth dealer. The ATF has purchased some homes in Southern California
Su e giù per il confine tra California e Messico vanno merci di varia natura: soldi sporchi, droghe di più tipi e qualità, forza lavoro umana armata e non…
Ci sono i buoni e ci sono i cattivi.
Ci sono i buoni senza sfumature, come il protagonista di questa serie, Charlie Hood - e ci sono i buoni con sfumature, che qualcuno potrebbe definire quasi cattivi, come uno dei protagonisti di questo romanzo, il fulcro della storia, Sean “Gravas” Hozburn.
Ma ci sono anche i cattivi con sf
Cathy DuPont
Supernatural? I'm not into that or fantasy or vampires and the such. And supernatural with a cop thriller? Nope, not interested.

GR friend Jim Andersen said he just got tired of Charlie Hood and I think I now understand what he was talking about. I might be there myself. But L. A. Outlaws was such a great book it being the first in the Charlie Hood series.

Years ago would not put a book down if my life depended on it. No longer. If I don't like it, pass it on or rather close it up.

Evyn Charles
Echoing the sentiments of some other reviewers, I have been a fan of T. Jefferson Parker's and I think his writing tone and inventiveness are very original with more than a touch of poetry; definitely not the same-old-same-old.
However, in the last few novels he has introduced some characters--one in particular--who veer into the realm of the metaphysical. I am not a fan of this mix. It's a little bit like the Deus Ex Machina of old where a fantastic being comes into the play and magically solve
Mike French
Feb 20, 2015 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very enjoyable book in the Charlie Hood series! This one featured Sean Ozburn,an undercover ATF agent. I give it 4 1/2 stars as Charlie Hood wasn't in the action as much as in the previous 3 books. As they say on SNL,"MORE COWBELL PLEASE"!
Feb 04, 2011 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cops and Robber fans who are not afraid of untraditional plots
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
The Border Lords is the fourth book in Parker's odd cops and robbers series set in the American Southwest and in Mexico. Not content to write about the gun and drug trade and its affects on the men and women who transport and sell the drugs and the police officers who try to stop them, Parker has introduced a wild card into the story -- a demon or evil being who feeds on pain, violence and death. Its up to the reader to decide if this element makes the stories better or worse.

As we return to Pa
Gary Grubb
Jun 26, 2012 Gary Grubb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. Maybe I'm just not in tune with this style of book. To me, there seemed to be way too many lose ends at the end of this one. There were times when I asked myself... "where did this come from?". An example would be the three 'persons' in "hoodies" who told Sean he would be OK if he would repent... or something like that. And what's with the 'priest' who isn't a priest... who is a priest... who isn't. And why the rabies to begin wit ...more
Tim Warner
I admire and love the uniqueness and originality of T. Jeff Parker's many, varied crime novels. It's strange however to not love every one of his books. This is one I did not love. I barely liked it but give it 3 stars anyway. I admit that in my opinion , this is a very well-written bad book. I just didn't develop an interest in the characters nor in the weird circumstances which drew them to their destinies. So I conclude that Parker is an excellent writer, even with a bad book. I am running lo ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Vicki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What's up with all the good vs evil outerworld subplots prominent in the Charlie Hood series? I felt the thing with Sean was already covered in a previous TJP novel with Merci Rayburn and Archie Wildcroft. And get rid of Bradley the wunderkind already; how much more unbelievable and unlikeable can a character get? Sorry, I just thought this was a big yawnfest from start to finish.

If you're looking for *good* T. Jefferson Parker books, anything earlier than 2006 is better than his later work. And
May 03, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sean Ozburn (Gravas) is undercover for Operation Blowdown. Sean is one of the best undercover operators but Charlie Hood is taken by surprise when Sean begins acting totally out of character. Sean operates a "safe house" in Buena Vista, California, a border town. The house has been wired for sound and video. The current occupants of the house are four gunmen who are members of the North Baja Cartel, the organization, Sean and ATF are hoping to put out of business. Sean was in the habit of checki ...more
Kent McDaniel
This continues the story Parker began in Iron River, which concerned the flow of drugs and guns and money back and forth across the U.S./Mexico border. From what I can see in the reviews on quite a few of Parker's old fans are disappointed in these novels, especially with Border Lords. They complain that the nominal protagonist Charlie Hood is an uninteresting character, that the books, especially Border Lords, are plagued with rambling unfocused plots, and that there is an unwelcome ...more
Ross Overacker
Jan 05, 2013 Ross Overacker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is, without a doubt, the one novel I've ever read that I want all my time back for. I gave this book more and more grace, until finally I decided that I had invested too much into the book to give up.

I wish I had turned back sooner.

I believe that many good books have to be given the benefit of the doubt to start. Long before the author has established a bond of trust with the reader, he at least needs to make enough promises that the book will turn out good to keep the reader going. With t
Carl Alves
Jul 03, 2012 Carl Alves rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In my humble opinion, this novel was dreadful. There was nothing remotely believable or intriguing about it. In this novel an ATF agent goes off the grid and starts killing the bad guys he's investigating. And the reason why he went off the grid - he and his girlfriend had rabies that was purposefully given to him by a priest. The story line is so convoluted and there isn't a shred of believability to it. And to make matters worse, out of nowhere the author just throws in supernatural elements t ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught me by complete surprise. I read the summary quick in Barnes and Noble, and since it was on sale completely for six bucks, I decided to give it a read. It was honestly a great book. I do not know why everyone is bashing it because it has a "supernatural" effect added to the plot. Yes, it is odd to add this kind if thing in a cop thriller, but why not? It gives the overall aspect of the book a kick and adds a lot to the story. Jeffersons characters are very complicated, but extrem ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading a Charlie Hood novel is much like tripping. Charlie is an LASD deputy working with ATF in stopping the arms and drug wars taking place in much of Southern California. Other characters in this tale are an undercover ATF agent, his wife, a young Deputy who is descended from Murietta, a murderous man who may or may not be a priest, and assorted good and bad doers. There are times you almost need a scorecard to keep up with the complexities of the plot; the next chapter of Charlie's life is ...more
Well this was just weird. A undercover ATF agent pursues the cross-border gun trade with Mexican cartels. Yes, this is a nasty, terrible problem that is still happening. That part was interesting. But why does the agent get rabies from a vampire bat, and he got it from a guy that is supposedly a vampire that held the bat on his toe while he was asleep? Does he have rabies or is he a vampire? Apparently he has rabies. This guy was watching "Twighlight" and a "nasty diseases of the tropics" docume ...more
Jeff Dickison
T. Jefferson Parker is one of the best writers in America, but the Charlie Hood series is not up to his previous works. This is the best one of the Hood books so far. It's just too damn mystical to make a lot of sense. I do not like the Bradley Murietta character. I do not like the Mike Finegan character. They just don't seem real. Read everything by Parker before the Hood series and you will read greatness, and some of that greatness shines through the pages here, but not enough.
Mar 14, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ridiculous and not in a good way. It is not worth your time...completely unrealistic connections between characters and it seemed like there were gaps in the plot.
Not bad as the 4th installment in the series. Can't figure out where it's going. Do we really want to believe in fallen angels? How long can Bradley stay free as a s***bag?
Leon Aldrich
Still a strong series with superb writing.
John Hood
Feb 03, 2011 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bound: Very Bad Company
SunPost Weekly January 27, 2011 | John Hood

Sidling Up to the Beautiful Uglies in T. Jefferson Parker’s The Border Lords

Man, would I dig going to a dinner party in T. Jefferson Parker’s head. The fare would undoubtedly be rare and bloody; the fete itself would probably be held in the back room one of Purgatory’s best saloons. And if the guests all stepped off the pages of his latest creation, the conversation would be as lively as any wire that ever carr
Feb 23, 2017 Billy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite this being labeled as a "Charlie Hood" novel, Charlie himself is mainly absent and frankly takes no action that could possibly make him the protagonist. However, Chuck must be quite the guy because how many other deputies in the LA County Sheriffs Department are on loan to the ATF AND have an archenemy AND have a protégé that is the son of a well-known lady Robin Hood thief who naturally died a tragically violent death AND have said protégé that they know committed murder but can't prove ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may read the entire review here:

I'd like to start off by saying that I have been a fan of T. Jefferson Parker since I was about 15 and got my hands on my parent's copy of Laguna Heat, so about 20 years now. Since then, he's been on my autobuy, and he's gotten better and better with each subsequent release. He is a three-time Edgar Award winning author, and is frankly a master of his genre. You can imagine how thrilled I was when Dutton kindly sent me
Jun 13, 2011 mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The Border Lords is the fourth book in a series of novels, by Parker, that looks at the relationship between Mexico and the United States through the circumstances of drugs, guns, & money - throughout history - with the same cast of characters, specifically an odd family of outlaws of mixed racial origins, and a law enforcement officer named Charlie Hood. Hood is a not very charismatic, straight-arrow LA sheriff’s deputy working for the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms. [If I we ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I apologize profusely for not getting a review out sooner than a week after I finished the book... life happens, right? Anyway, this book, the fourth in the Charlie Hood series, was no slouch, if you know what I mean. There were some very cool parts in the book, and there was a mystery in the mystery, which was a nice surprise and change from Parker regular formula. I will say that the metaphysical aspect, which I normally would really dig, fell a little short in this entry of the ser ...more
Oct 08, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eighteen months is much longer than the average law
enforcement offi cer stays undercover, but Sean Gravas
was so close that to pull him now would see months of
operational expenses go down the drain. Hood made
the decision to leave him in. He was working with gang members,
the North Baja Cartel, across the Mexican border to break a gunrunners
ring suspected of smuggling in a thousand machine pistols.
When all the gang members in the home are brutally slain, Gravas
appears to be implicated, so Hood soli
May 05, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second Parker book I've read, but it was good enough to secure his place in my pantheon of favorite living thriller writers--Jack Higgins, Robert Crais, Walter Mosley, Don Winslow. There are other good ones out there, but generally I have to read at least two and preferably three or four of someone's novels before I can put them up there.

Parker's Charlie Hood novels have a lot going on. Multiple characters, subplots, history, current events, and themes. The environment from Mexi
Gloria Feit
Dec 08, 2011 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This latest Charlie Hood novel is as confusing as it is well-written and well-researched; the plot (or plots) are at once baffling and intriguing. The story draws the reader along by its sheer force right up to the end. Many of the characters that appeared in the preceding novel in the series, “Iron River,” are present here, with Charlie, still on loan to the ATF from the Sheriff’s Department, working along the Mexican border, this time chasing narcotics kingpins but still following the trail of ...more
Nov 12, 2010 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in modern anti-gang/drug warfare.
Recommended to Richard by: I have been reading all Mr. Parker's work.
Here is a very twisted tale of love, lust, craziness, greed, cruelty, violence and a dash of the supernatural.

Continuing the story begun in L.A. Outlaws and Iron River, Mr. Parker brings back to us the DEA agent, Charley Hood; Joaquin Murietta's descendant (maybe) and a host of other bad guys and peace officers of various agencies and levels of commitment. The magical Pace machine pistol, the Love 32, plays a role as does a demonic priest. Or is he two different people.

The story takes place all
Nov 19, 2011 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Border Lords" should be the final book in the trilogy which started with "L.A.Outlaws." In "Border Lords" a crucial undercover player in Operation Blowdown loses contact with his associates. Thus begins a concerted effort to find him, using his wife for assistance. Seliah is torn between love for her husband and fear that he will harm himself. She alternately cooperates with the Blowdown team and then tries to fool them. The story veers into fantasy territory when Father Joe enters the scene. I ...more
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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

Charlie Hood (6 books)
  • L.A. Outlaws (Charlie Hood, #1)
  • The Renegades (Charlie Hood, #2)
  • Iron River (Charlie Hood, #3)
  • The Jaguar (Charlie Hood, #5)
  • The Famous and the Dead (Charlie Hood, #6)

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