Parker’s superb new thriller continues the tale of Charlie Hood, the Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who fell hard for beautiful gangster Allison Murrieta in L.A. Outlaws (2008). Deputy Hood now patrols the Antelope Valley, a desert region north of Los Angeles where still nights and stark beauty provide a refuge from his past (though he still hasn’t come to terms with Murrieta’s death). But Hood’s new beat has a breed of heinous criminals all its own. When his partner, Terry Laws, known by fellow officers as Mr. Wonderful, is gunned down in the passenger seat of their patrol car, Hood once again finds himself among the dark-hearted and the damned.