BLACK WATER (2002)
A beautiful young woman is dead in the bathroom of her home. Her husbanda promising young cop named Archie Wildcraftis 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.
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Jeff Parker on BLACK WATER
BLACK WATER was a blast to write. Some books are just plain hard, while others roll off your fingers like hot dice, and this was one of those. I didn't have it outlined at all, but just tried to let logic prevail and let one thing lead to another. It was nice to see the character of Archie Wildcraft come alive and become more interesting page by page. It's really Archie and Gwen's story, more than Merci Rayborn's. I'm learning that with a series, you need a great supporting castit takes some of the pressure off your protagonist, who comes back book after book. Hard to make someone interesting enough to deserve 350 pages every year. If I wrote a book once a year about what I did, nobody could possibly read them.
Hyperion US hardcover Nov 2002 ISBN 078686804X
Hyperion US mass-market paperback March 2003 ISBN 0786890169
HarperCollins UK hardcover Jan 2004 ISBN 0007122179
HarperCollins UK mass-market paperback Nov 2003 ISBN 0007122195
Center Point hardcover (largeprint) Nov 2002 ISBN 1585472557
Brilliance Audio MP3-CD June 2004 ISBN 9781593350093
Brilliance Audio cassette (unabridged) April 2002 ISBN 9781590861332
Brilliance Audio (download) Sept 2004 ISBN 9781597100663
Parker scores again with a heroine whose steely toughness is leavened by warmth and vulnerability. It's a pleasure to spend time with her.
...this latest is a showcase for mood, setting, and pace.
Parker...writes at the top of his form.
Los Angeles Times
Every appearance by T. Jefferson Parker's protagonist Merci Rayborn is a cause for celebration among fans of police procedurals. A warm, endearing, but tough heroine, she is filled with all the wry charm and expert insight we've come to expect from Parker's hard-edged storytelling. The author always gives his novels an extra dose of genuinely moving humanity, featuring honest character motivation and a gripping, energetic narrative.
Barnes And Noble Editorial Review
Recommended for all fiction collections.
The key to this strong police procedural is the clever way T. Jefferson Parker enables the reader to observe Merci up front and personal without slowing down a fast-paced yet unique cat and mouse story line.
Reader Review, BarnesAndNoble.com