Title: A Thousand Steps
Author: T. Jefferson Parker
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Page Count: 368
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
A Thousand Steps is a beguiling thriller, an incisive coming-of-age story, and a vivid portrait of a turbulent time and place by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.
Laguna Beach, California, 1968. The Age of Aquarius is in full swing. Timothy Leary is a rock star. LSD is God. Folks from all over are flocking to Laguna, seeking peace, love, and enlightenment.
Matt Anthony is just trying get by.
Matt is sixteen, broke, and never sure where his next meal is coming from. Mom’s a stoner, his deadbeat dad is a no-show, his brother’s fighting in Nam . . . and his big sister Jazz has just gone missing. The cops figure she’s just another runaway hippie chick, enjoying a summer of love, but Matt doesn’t believe it. Not after another missing girl turns up dead on the beach.
All Matt really wants to do is get his driver’s license and ask out the girl he’s been crushing on since fourth grade, yet it’s up to him to find his sister. But in a town where the cops don’t trust the hippies and the hippies don’t trust the cops, uncovering what’s really happened to Jazz is going to force him to grow up fast.
If it’s not already too late.
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker is part historical thriller and part a coming of age story. The novel is set in Laguna Beach, California in the year 1968 with the main character being a young adult but the content is definitely adult.
Sixteen year old Matt Antony does his best just to survive and help out his family. Matt’s older brother is off in Vietnam counting his days down until he will be able to return home. Matt’s mother words as a waitress and spends her time off dabbling in drugs that are readily available and his father hasn’t been around in years.
One day Matt notices that his sister Jazz hasn’t made it home by that morning which is unlike her. Matt’s mother writes it off as they had an argument but Matt isn’t so sure that would keep his sister away. Matt begins to track just where his sister had been and find out what happened to her when it seems he is the only one that will look for Jazz.
So… 1968 is before my time but it really did seem like A Thousand Steps and T. Jefferson Parker really did a good job of bringing that time to life in the story. I couldn’t help but become engaged in the main character’s story after learning of his surroundings and how he took charge of his sister’s disappearance. The story did get a tad repetitive which is why this isn’t five stars for me but despite that I was completely hooked to the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of 23 crime novels, including Edgar Award-winners Silent Joe and California Girl. Parker’s next work is Swift Vengeance in which San Diego PI Roland Ford leads the FBI to a terrorist attack.
Parker was born in L.A. and grew up in Southern California. He studied English at UC Irvine and worked as a newspaper reporter for five years while writing his first book, Laguna Heat on evenings and weekends. HBO made Laguna Heat into one of its first original television movies in 1987.
Although the T is part of his legal name it does not stand for a name. It is a decorative initial put there by his parents, who once told him they thought T. Jefferson Parker would look good on the White House door.
Parker lives in north San Diego County, and enjoys fishing, hiking and just about anything outdoors.
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