Skip to main content

Swift Vengeance


Swift Vengeance

The characters in T. Jefferson Parker’s SWIFT VENGEANCE are finely limned, and the complex narrative unfolds into a real and timely page turner.

Former law enforcement officer Roland Ford is the main character and a formidable private investigator who also spent time in the Middle East as a member of the Air Force. He owns a house that has casitas on the property, which he rents to people who become very loyal to him.

One of them is Lindsey Rakes, a drone pilot who was responsible for killing Middle Eastern people. She once stayed in one of Roland’s casitas and seeks him out when her drone partner is brutally murdered. The killer calls himself “Caliphornia” and leaves a note near the body that says: “Vengeance is justice. The thunder is coming for you. Sincerely, Caliphornia.” Lindsey is terrified for herself and her young son, who lives with his father.

"The characters in T. Jefferson Parker’s SWIFT VENGEANCE are finely limned, and the complex narrative unfolds into a real and timely page turner."

Roland takes her in and tries to help her find Caliphornia. He then becomes acquainted with Joan Taucher, an FBI agent who is investigating the case. Their relationship is amicable in spite of Joan’s thorny personality. As they help each other investigate, a friendship develops between them. Both are very good at their jobs. Joan’s harshness is based on the fact that the FBI has failed to catch the 9/11 terrorists. These references to the different facts surrounding the Middle East brings a very timely slant to SWIFT VENGEANCE.

Caliphornia’s first strike is to “Kenny Bryce’s heart…. Something to inspire terror in the living. Which it did.” The note he left was addressed to Lt. Bryce: “To cause another’s death is to cause your own.” He spells out exactly what he has planned for Bryce. He calls his weapon Al Ra’ad, which means “the thunder.” And he continues: “Watch for us. Listen for us. Believe every fearful thought. Sincerely, Caliphornia.”

When the body is discovered, Lindsey is with Roland. He asks about Bryce’s relationship with another Air Force enlistee. She says they were all friends who “had us some times.” They never had a fight. He wants to know if Bryce was trying to get close to Lindsey, but she denies that.

Roland’s wife was killed early on in their marriage, which he has not gotten over. No women are in his life except for Lindsey and Joan. Readers will feel a great deal of empathy for the private investigator as they careen through the twists and turns of this exciting procedural. SWIFT VENGEANCE is the second installment in the series (following THE ROOM OF WHITE FIRE), and Parker plans to write more books featuring Roland and the “warriors from bloody combat.” The razor-sharp prose is especially brilliant here, and readers should be prepared for a heady treat.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on August 24, 2018

Swift Vengeance
by T. Jefferson Parker

  • Publication Date: June 25, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0735212708
  • ISBN-13: 9780735212701