By Mark Terry
T. Jefferson Parker has a fascination with Conrad’s THE HEART OF DARKNESS. So much so, that his latest novel to feature ATF agent Charlie Hood, makes a nod to the classic novel about a rogue soldier that has gone native and the soldier that is sent deep into the jungle to retrieve him. In this novel, THE BORDER LORDS, an ATF agent, Sean Ozburn, has gone so deep undercover into the Baja drug Cartel in Mexico that no one has heard from him. The only communication is through digital videos he sends his wife, Seliah. Charlie Hood, who has appeared in three previous Parker novels, has to decide whether Oz has gone deeper under cover than anyone ever has, or whether the man has gone rogue.
Parker says part of the appeal of THE HEART OF DARKNESS motif, which he uses so closely in THE BORDER LORDS, is that it’s interesting to take a normal, everyday person and place him under extreme conditions and see what he’s like at the end of the story. Parker also admits to an interest in all things criminal south of the U.S. border, no doubt partly due to his own home about an hour south of San Diego.
THE BORDER LORDS is the fourth novel to feature Charlie Hood. The previous novels are: L.A. OUTLAWS, THE RENEGADES, and IRON RIVER. Charlie Hood is an Iraq war veteran and sheriff’s deputy who becomes involved in an ATF task force. In an Amazon interview with Robert Crais, Parker describes Charlie as “a good reliable witness to events, and he always tries to do the right thing.” He also notes that Charlie is “constantly over-matched. Which is different than being hapless.”
T. Jefferson Parker—the T doesn’t stand for anything, his mother said the letter T would look better on the door of the President—lives south of San Diego with his wife and son. He generally starts writing around 6:30 in the morning at an office across the street from his house, and works until about 5:00 in the evening. He typically doesn’t work weekends. Early in his career he was a newspaper reporter. His first novel, LAGUNA HEAT, was a New York Times Bestseller in 1986 and he has won three Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, as well as the Long Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller. He is the author of 18 novels.
Parker will be touring in support of THE BORDER LORDS, primarily in California, Texas, Colorado and Denver. When not writing, he likes to hike, hunt, fish, and play tennis.