Jerry B's Reviews > Black Water

Black Water by T. Jefferson Parker
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's review
Jul 02, 2010

it was amazing

Latest Merci Rayborn murder mystery a complex pleaser!

This is the third (and most current) of the Orange County (CA) Homicide Sergeant Merci Rayborn series. The story starts out fast with the near murder of fellow Deputy Archie Wildcraft and the concurrent slaying of his wife. Rayborn and partner Paul Zamorra investigate and all the early clues point to Archie himself as a murder/suicide attempt. Merci won't believe it and away we go. Adding to the suspense, Wildcraft wakes up from the coma induced by the bullet (still there) in his head, checks himself out of the hospital and despite his serious condition, proceeds to investigate the crime himself. So to the usual intensity of Merci's crime solving we add the lovesick revenge hunt by Wildcraft, who of course is himself being hunted result of pressure by the DA to apprehend and charge him, all of which only serves to heighten Parker's compelling and suspenseful story telling. Toward the end we're turning the pages as fast as they will go!

There is a lot to like in this book. Merci definitely improves with age and familiarity, a fact not unnoticed by the potential suitors in the stories. With her a widow of her son Tim's father, Tim Hess Sr., and partner Zamorra a widower to his wife's death a year or so ago of cancer, we get to watch a little love interest grow there as well, although Paul seems to be maybe looking elsewhere? Merci's dad Clark and toddler Tim add some domestic interest, and the unfolding feelings about Merci left over from the scandals she revealed at the end of Book 2 ("Red Light") add to the continuity of the series and expose a wide range of attitudes among the colleagues. We have no doubt this series has a long successful life ahead of it, and we for sure can't wait til the next installment!

[Reviewer's note -- 8 years later, we're still waiting -- why ?!?!:]


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