Roland Ford

Created by T. Jefferson Parker

T. Jefferson Parker is one of those authors I’ve been reading off and on for years, since I first spotted the DayGlo colours of the paperback edition of Laguana Heat beckoning to me from a spinner rack sometime in the eighties. Through the years, I’ve followed his broken and damaged SoCal characters through hell and back, torn through Iron River, heard the call of Silent Joe and absolutely raved to anyone who would listen about California Girl, which I would argue is still some sort of heart-shredding masterpiece–the rancid side of all that sun sun sun and fun fun fun. Parker’s turf has almost always been cops and the damage they do and have done to them, although the large cast of characters he uses draw from all over society. But he rarely writes about private eyes. Hence my on-and-off reading of his work.

Until now.

The Room of White Fire (2017), the first novel in a new series, introduced ROLAND FORD, who’s been a cop, a Marine (a veteran of Fallujah) and now, finally, a private investigator, with a good rep for missing person cases, working out of San Diego, still mourning the loss of his wife a few years previous.

He’s functioning, though — or at least until he’s hired to track down a young Air Force vet who’s escaped from a mental institution. As the lies pile up, Roland’s past threatens to catch up with him, as old wounds are pried open. Not that he apparently learns– he’s back in the Shamus Game in 2018’s Swift Vengeance and a couple of other sequels. Some guys never learn.


T. Jefferson Parker was born in Los Angeles and has lived all his life in Southern California. He earned a bachelorís degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, in 1976 and began working as a cub reporter for a weekly newspaper in 1978. His first novel, Laguna Heat, was published to rave reviews in 1985,and his subsequent novels — all dealing with crime, life and death against a sunny Southern California backdrop — have won him three Edgar Awards and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.


  • Dang. I forgot Matt Stromsoe, a P.I. who appeared in Parker’s 2007 novel Storm Runners.



  • September 4, 2023
    The Bottom Line: This San Diego eye was a cop. Than a Marine. In Iraq. And now he finds people who are no longer where they’re supposed to be. And usually don’t want to be found.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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