T. Jefferson Parker (1953 – ) is a writer of police procedural novels, following in the grand tradition of Jack Webb and Joseph Wambaugh. Most of his 15 novels are set in Orange County or San Diego. He draws comparisons to Robert B. Parker and that’s apt for more than their common name: both feature strong local settings, a romantic interest, unconventional ‘helpers,’ and a focus on the intersection of politics and crimes. T. Parker seems to alter his formula with each novel a bit more than R. Parker though.
A native of Southern California, he graduated in English from UC-Irvine and worked for the Newport Ensign and Daily Pilot in Orange County before writing his first novel. About ten years ago he moved to San Diego County.
Parker’s stories usually have a single protagonist, though occasionally some of the story will be shown from the antagonists viewpoint. The crimes that Parker depicts are sometimes gruesome, with the potential to cause community mayhem. His forte is setting, local politics, and depicting the effects of crime. The initial run of novels:
Laguna Heat (1985), Little Saigon (1987), Pacific Beat (1991), Summer of Fear (1993), The Triggerman’s Dance (1996), Where Serpents Lie (1998), and the award-winning Silent Joe (2001)
With his move south, Parker turned his eye to the less contested territory of San Diego, which apparently has just as many feuds, just as much graft and favoritism, and as many fiefdoms as its neighbors to the north — and more readers up for grabs.
In his most recent novels, Parker features Charlie Hood, a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy “on loan” to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms task force working the illegal gun trade along the U.S. Mexico border.