California Girl

T. Jefferson Parker


California Girl

California Girl

  • Title: California Girl
  • Author: T. Jefferson Parker
  • ISBN: 9780060562373
  • Page: 270
  • Format: Paperback



The times, they are a changin .The Orange County, California, that the Becker brothers knew as boys is no unrecognizably altered since the afternoon in 1954 when Nick, Clay, David, and Andy rumbled with the lowlife Vonns, while five year old Janelle Vonn watched from the sidelines The new decade has brought about the end of the orange groves and the birth ofThe times, they are a changin .The Orange County, California, that the Becker brothers knew as boys is no unrecognizably altered since the afternoon in 1954 when Nick, Clay, David, and Andy rumbled with the lowlife Vonns, while five year old Janelle Vonn watched from the sidelines The new decade has brought about the end of the orange groves and the birth of suburban sprawl It is the era of Johnson, hippies, John Birchers, and LSD Clay becomes a casualty of a far off jungle war Nick becomes a cop, Andy a reporter, David a minister And the decapitated corpse of teenage beauty queen Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned warehouse.A hideous crime has touched the Beckers in ways that none of them could have anticipated, setting three brothers on a dangerous collision course that will change their family and their world forever.And no one will emerge from the wreckage unscathed.


Recent Comments "California Girl"

When I was a kid growing up in northern San Diego County in the Sixties and Seventies, we used to make a yearly trek to Disneyland. We'd also make other treks to points north, especially Long Beach. Up until around 1974 or so, northern San Diego County was a pretty podunk place, but Orange County was even podunkier. Going up I-5 (or I-405), you saw hardly any civilization until you hit Anaheim or Long Beach. Even Anaheim would have been nothing if it weren't for the cheap motels and coffee shops [...]

On the surface, California Girl is a well written crime novel. It will particularly appeal to those who have a familiarity with Orange County, California and are interested in a story that captures the atmosphere of the OC of the 1950s and 60s with its orange groves, hippie culture, and drive-in churches. There are cameo appearances by California icons Timothy Leary, Charles Manson, and Richard Nixon. Just the local interest and plot action are enough to make this a worthwhile read, but the auth [...]

Another very enjoyable and entertaining book from T.Jefferson Parker. A stand alone crime novel set in Orange County,California during the 50's and 60's.Kept me very interested from start to finish!

I am glad to have followed the advice of a fellow avid crime/thriller fan here on to pick up a book by T. Jefferson Parker. There’s something about his storytelling that compels me. I enjoyed California Girl because it immersed me in a time and a place where I know little about. The sixties in Orange County, CA. If you want, it pretty much boils down to “sex, drugs, and rock&roll”. It must’ve been a time like no other; those sixties, people falling so easily into debauchery, but it [...]

Postal Book Club 3.2 (Nancy's book)

California Girl is almost a history lesson in the 1960's for Orange County. It deals with the old John Birch Society, the hippies, dope, LSD and features cameos from Richard Nixon, Charlie Manson, and Timothy Leary (used fictiously, I'm certain-- but with an effort to be authentic). The story features a lot of information and factioids about how the area was changing and some of the fads that were popular. On top of that, Parker writes a decent mystery and populates it with a number of the usual [...]

Like Parker’s earlier Edgar winner, Silent Joe, California Girl is set in Orange County and brought home even more than the earlier book that Orange County is not Los Angeles.There are a lot of ways one could describe California Girl. It’s a story about two families, the Beckers and the Vonns, and how they intersect and affect each other’s lives. It’s definitely a story of the changes in America, and specifically Orange County, from the 50s through the 60s and onward. Richard Nixon and C [...]

I was thinking this was a five star when it began, and now I give it one AND place it on the "really bad" book shelf. That because of my growing disappointment the more I thought about it - I thought I really had found someone in author T. Jefferson Parker but he let me down. His protagonists, in all his novels, are basically the same guy, and in this novel he merges four brothers into one. The brothers are: a preacher, newspaper reporter, soldier, and detective. Their voice is the same. Their [...]

The main characters all interact on a casual and one to one basis with major news grabbers from the 1960's: Richard Nixon, Tim Leary and Charles Manson. I wonder how accurate these portrayals are to the truth; it sounded good and I appreciated in particular the interaction between one of our main characters and Manson. As a mystery I only found this book to be average, but it was redeemed by the history it recounted with the orange groves of Tustin, CA the political and cult figures of the times [...]

As always I enjoyed T Jefferson Parker's writing. This is a police procedural, but almost epic in terms of scope and the fact that the action takes place primarily amongst 4 brothers growing up in Orange County California in the 50's and their interaction with a poorer family that lives nearby and the right wing politics that defined that era in Orange County. I am also certain that T Jefferson Parker has been stalking me all my life because just like "LA Outlaws" I know every street, every land [...]

My third book into the writings of T. Jefferson Parker and a stand alone at that. The other books read were the Merci Rayborn series which I really enjoyed. This one, not as much. Everything seemed a little contrived. Seems silly saying that because of course, it's fiction. But nevertheless, people from the 1960's are interjected in the novel such as Richard Nixson, Charles Manson, Thomas Leary and a few others. Unfortunately, most added nothing to the plot that I could determine. However, I mus [...]

Here's a mystery to kick start your summer! A hell of a good story, varied in its moods, rich in details about its 1968 southern California setting without being about the 1960s. To tell you the truth, I had to work at not crying at the end, which I didn't see coming. I'm struck by how nice it was to read a book that sits all by itself, no support from other books in a series, just selling its characters and creating its soul between two paperback covers, then saying "Done." I'm not done with th [...]

It's not like I can call this a bad book, because it's well-written, but for me that doesn't amount to much if it's so boring. And this one is booooorrrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg. 250 pages in, Nick Becker moans that he's two weeks into his investigation and hasn't uncovered any clues. Yes, that's right! 250 pages where nothing has happened! This more a "sweeping" family saga than thriller or crime novel. It won an award for best crime novel in 2004, which makes me think 2004 must have been a lousy year [...]

2005 Edgar Award winner for best novel. Well deserved. Novel follows two families from the 1950's through the 90's. A murder thrown in. Ending a bit weaker than the balance of the story and that is all that keeps me from giving 5 stars. Good discription of the political climate in California in the 50's and 60's. Well worth the read even if you are not a great mystery fan.

This one has a lot to recommend it. A crime/mystery/detective story with characters whose lives are normal and relatable. The Becker bros--a cop, a writer, a clergyman, and soldier, and their personal strivings and struggles. A view into the 50's and 60's Orange County CA, with the hippy dippy drug culture an important (but not dominant) element of the setting. Interesting and believable cameos by Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, and Charles Manson. Non-antagonistic portrayal of the clergyman broth [...]

Loved the setting of this novel being in OC since I grew up & still live here! For me, the book started off a little slow and has many different characters that I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of. However, interest & anticipation kept building with a twist at the end.

Another good mystery from Parker - captures the California scene from John Birch society to religion to hippies to cops. All in one family!

A little confusing at first with getting some of the characters straight, but enjoyed the story. Some good action in it.

The four Becker boys, Clay, David, Nick and Andy, often found themselves at odds with the Vonn boys and during one particularly violent teenaged rumble the two little Vonn sisters, Janelle and Lynette, joined the fight by throwing rocks at the Beckers. The Vonn family, desperately poor and no stranger to crime, stayed at odds with the Beckers for many years. Now in 1963 the boys are grown: David is a minister, Nick a homicide detective for Orange County, Andy is a newspaper reporter and Clay has [...]

I really liked this crime (plus) novel which is set, for the most part, in late 60s southern California.It’s a bit of a half-hearted procedural novel. Half-hearted because in the late 60s there was little of the forensic science we have today and, to be honest, the investigating officer isn’t that good at his job.So, although it’s nominally a crime novel, its themes are really much more familiar to a reader of mainstream fiction. It’s about family, sexuality, religion, growing older, the [...]

I really wanted to like this book. I grew up in So Cal in the sixties, and was looking forward to this novel. Ultimately though, the book left me flat.Two key issues I have: First, I don't know why Richard Nixon, Charles Manson, and Timothy Leary were even in the story sure they were all Icons of OC in the sixties, but this novel tries to connect them in a way that just doesn't ring authentic I could accept Leary and the tie-ins with the drug culture or even Nixon being in there, though I don't [...]

This family saga is set in Orange County, California and revolves around a murdered beauty queen found beheaded in a warehouse. It begins in 1954 with action, a rumble pitting the Becker brothers, David, Nick, Clay and Andy against the lowlife Vonn brothers. Spectators are the Vonn sisters, Lynette and Janelle. Fast forward to 1968. Clay has died in Vietnam, David is a minister, Andy is a newspaper reporter, and Nick a detective. Janelle is the beauty queen who is murdered and beheaded. With the [...]

After I settled on the brother's identities, and several of the other characters resolved themselves as peripheral, I was hooked. The quibbles I had in the beginning - way too many characters to keep up with, introduced all at once in a childhood battle between two families of brothers and then the time and place jumping around from present day to the 50's then to the 60's, from teens for the boys to their twenties then to their sixties made getting settled and understanding the character dynami [...]

This was a pretty decent book. It’s a story of 2 families really. The Beckers and The Vonns. The Beckers are the main characters. Four Brothers. Clay, Andy, David and Nick. The Vonns have 3 boys, Casey, Lenny and Ethan and 2 daughters, Lynette and Janelle. The story focuses on the Becker brothers and Janelle. Janelle is found murdered and Nick (the cop) is on the case. Andy helps Nick with some information he gets from the paper he works for. David is a preacher and Clay is killed in Vietnam. [...]

CALIFORNIA GIRL (Police Proc/Amateur-Califorania-1950s to Cont) – GParker, T. Jefferson – 12th bookWilliam Morrow, 2004- HardcoverThe Becker boys rumbled with the Vonn boys when they were young. But there was something about young Janelle Vonn that caught their eye. Now in the 1960's Janelle has reconnected with a couple of the Beckers, up until she is found murdered. Nick Becker, now a cop, is handling Janelle's murder as his first homicide case while Andy, a reporter, is also investigating [...]

I've only read one other T. Jefferson Parker book and it was one of those quick-read thrillers, so I didn't know quite what to expect from this book, but given that it won an Edgar Award (given to outstanding mysteries) I figured I was in for a great read. Umm, no. This book had a really interesting premise, and pretty multi-dimensional characters (most of them; some of them were straight out of Central Casting) but it just took FOREVER. And what I suspected would happen early on did, in a sort- [...]

A saga that unfolds over half a century in Orange County, CA. The Becker brothers who are typical California boys in the 1950’s. Three of the brothers end up forever tied to a young woman (Janelle) found murdered in a packing house where the Beckers once rumbled with the hoodlum brothers of Janelle when they were kids. The writing aptly describes the eras, especially the 1960’s. Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, and Charles Manson guest-star in the drama (now that is a cast!). Nick Becker’s fi [...]

California Girl was recommended and since I had never read this author, I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed it but not as much as I had hoped I would. I can't quite put my finger on what was missing though. Lovely setting in Orange County, CA, in the 50s and 60s. Those years were times of many cultural changes so there is some history here for those of you too young to remember that era.Two families are involved in the plot in this big novel. It is a murder mystery but we also read about the d [...]

Book was kinda weird, way it was written. Finally figured out Parker was doing it on purpose. Worst thing I can say about the story. Think the narrative style would have worked better coming from Nick's POV only. Worked fine, really.Listening to the audiobook, read by one of my favorite readers, Patrick Lawlor, I missed the change in POV a few times. It never took me very long to catch up though. I enjoyed reading about Orange County, and I didn't roll my eyes when the characters interacted with [...]

T. Jefferson Parker is on a list of about ten crime/suspense novelists whose work I follow quite closely. I particularly liked his novel Black Water, which I found not only a plain good read and interesting story, but it was also one of those books that haunted me for a long time. I still find myself thinking about the young cop who is suspected of killing his wife, now and then. I liked California Girl, too, but not as much as his previous work. This is a big novel with a complex plot that move [...]


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    Published :2018-08-11T08:04:06+00:00