A different world then, a different world now.California in the 1960s, and the winds of change are raging. Orange groves uprooted for tract houses, people flooding into Orange County, and strange new ideas in the air about war, music, sex, and drugs, and new influences including Richard Nixon and Timothy Leary. But for the Becker brothers, the past is always present and it comes crashing back when the body of the lovely and mysterious Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned orange packinghouse. The Beckers and Vonns have a history, beginning years ago in high school with a rumble between the brothers of each clan. But boys grow up. Now one Becker brother is a cop on his first homicide case. One's a minister yearning to perform just one miracle. One is a reporter drunk with ambition. And all three are about to collide with the changing world of 1968 as each brother, in his own special way, tries to find Janelle's killer. As the suspects multiply and secrets are exposed, the Becker brothers are all drawn further into the case, deeper into the past, and closer to the danger.
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by T. Jefferson Parker
"Parker's twelfth novel is a family saga and whodunit set against the turbulent '60s. The Becker brothers grew up among the orange groves of Southern California, brawling and scrapping with the low-class Vonn boys through most of the 1950s. By 1967, Janelle, the tomboyish little sister of the Vonn boys, has grown into a cover-girl beauty with a tragic edge. When her decapitated body is found in an abandoned orange-packing plant, the Becker brothers struggle to find the truth amid conflicting politics and family secrets. Patrick G. Lawlor reads the novel with a precise deliberation that at first seems stiffly at odds with the sunny setting of the story. But as the novel proceeds, Lawlor loosens and the book takes on a life if its own. Dotted with cameos by Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, and even a young Charles Manson, CALIFORNIA GIRL is a beautiful, moving, and memorable novel. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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