T. Jefferson Parker
Dutton, Feb 2008, $25.95
In Los Angeles a woman claims to be Allison Murrieta, a descendant of the legendary some say notorious nineteenth century robber. Allison insists her relative was Robin Hood of the Wild West while his victims over a century ago insisted he was a cold-blooded killer. Allison emulates her ancestor by wearing a mask to hide her real identity of eighth-grade history teacher and mother of three boys, Suzanne Jones, when she robs from those she dubs as avaricious; giving part of her loot to charity.
A media and public darling who doe not want her secret identity exposed; her latest caper is to steal diamonds from Bull, a known criminal. This time however, she gets more than she wants when she observes Bull’s prime killer Lupercio cold bloodedly murder gangland-style his boss’ enemies. As she tries to flee the crime scene serendipitously, L.A. sheriff's deputy Charles Hood catches her and demands she testify that she witnessed Lupercio’s murdering spree at the same time Bull wants his diamonds returned to him so he sends his top gun to retrieve them anyway he can.
This is an exciting single sitting read that grips the audience from Allison’s first heist until the final confrontation when the thug, the cop, the media, and the heroine come together. The cast is deep and powerful enhancing a strong plot that will have readers rooting for this modern day female Robin Hood as she moonlights by robbing from greedy bullheaded hoodlums while teaching American History in the daytime.