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Merci Rayborn Books In Order

Publication Order of Merci Rayborn Books

The Blue Hour (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Red Light (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Water (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Merci Rayborn by T. Jefferson Parker
Author T. Jefferson Parker pens the “Merci Rayborn” series of mystery and thriller novels. The series began publication in the year 1998, when “The Blue Hour” was released. The series ended after three novels, when “Black Water” was released in the year 2002. The books are published by Hyperion.

Merci Rayborn works as an Orange County deputy, and is both principled and stubborn. At the beginning of the first novel, she has already filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment against her former partner. In the second novel, she has a son, named Tim Jr. that she has with a partner on the force named Tim Hess.

Merci continues to learn from her mistakes in all of the novels and evolves, which is evident through each one of her actions in the books. Merci was tricked by the criminal in “Blue Hour” and he is able to take someone she cares for. She fights hard in order to not be deceived, as a result of what happened in the first book. Her trust in evidence’s value blinds her and leads her away from the truth, in “Red Light”.

She is shown to have a tough outer shell, but while she is with Tim, whom she loves a lot, she turns into a much more loving and stable person.

“Red Light”, the second novel in the series, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

“The Blue Hour” is the first novel in the “Merci Rayborn” series and was released in the year 1998. There is a man that is taking women from shopping malls. They are sophisticated, gorgeous, yet he treats them like they are animals, and when he is done, he just leaves his grisly signature in order to taunt the Orange County cops. A purse filled with entrails. Where are the corpses? How could these women disappear so entirely?

Whatever the Purse Snatcher has done to these women, it definitely cannot be any worse than the imaginings of a shock-toughened police squad. They just do not know the sick mind they are now dealing with.

Detective Hess has given his life over to the police force, but lung cancer is looking to take his life. Merci Rayborn is right at the start of her career and she is determined to get all the way to the top, doing whatever she has to. Assigned to this case by a boss that has a hidden agenda, Merci and Hess agree on one thing at the start: they want to apprehend the Purse Snatcher and see the guy fry for it. While another woman goes missing, and then one more, they are united through their shared obsession with a case that is going to change both of their lives forever.

Fans found this to be very entertaining and highly enjoyable and it features some unexpected twists and turns in it. The book does a great job of holding your attention the entire way through and is tough to set aside for too long. Readers found themselves rooting for Merci and want to see what she does after this book.

“Red Light” is the second novel in the “Merci Rayborn” series and was released in the year 2000. Two years have gone by since Tim Hess, the father of her kid and her partner and Merci has returned. Merci has pulled her life back together, finally. She and her son live with her dad, who is a retired cop, and she dates Mike McNally, a respected fellow officer.

A young prostitute is found killed and Mike is the prime suspect, and Merci has to do the unthinkable, arrest and expose her lover. With her having been turned upside down, Merci has to sift through the facts and balance out where the truth takes her against where her heart has been telling her to go.

The truth takes her down some odd alleyways. From late sixties California to modern day Orange County, as well as the unsolved killing of another prostitute.

All of Parker’s mystery novels are multi-layered and this one is no exception, as this one throws twists and turns at the reader that help build the suspense until the truth surfaces. Parker does a great job at building a complicated character in Merci, who shows more vulnerabilities than she did in the first book, making her more appealing to the reader. The plot is an intricate one, with the past being woven into the present tense in a convincing way.

“Black Water” is the third novel in the “Merci Rayborn” series and was released in the year 2002. Merci Rayborn is far and away in the minority in the belief that deputy Archie Wildcraft did not first kill his gorgeous young wife and then kill himself. The evidence against Wildcraft, who is now hospitalized with a bullet in his head, appears overwhelming.

Merci is still unpopular for exposing an ancient police scandal that caused the ruination of many cops and the death of a cop. She is currently resisting the pressure she is getting from the DA (who is a headline hunter) and her boss to arrest Wildcraft and charge him with murder.

The deputy, who lost his memory and possibly his mind due to his injury, vanishes from his hospital room, with the intent of finding the real murderers and manage to stay one step ahead of Merci. Quickly, they both start to realize that Gwen Wildcraft was not killed since she got in the way of an attempted hit taken out on her husband, rather it was the other way around.

Merci is a well-written, complex character and her flaws make her endearing, just like the rest of the characters in the novel. The plot gets very interesting and is a fast paced novel, one that is tough to put down for very long. Fans of this one recommend it to anybody that enjoys cop stories and murder mysteries. In each one of these novels, Parker does an outstanding job of showing the reader around the shadier sides of Orange County, California, and simply bringing all parts of the city to life.

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