cover image Desperation Reef

Desperation Reef

T. Jefferson Parker. Tor, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-90788-2

A family of Laguna Beach surfers prepare for the high-stakes competition that killed their patriarch in Edgar winner Parker’s outstanding latest (after The Rescue). Twenty-five years ago, John Stonebreaker died during the Monsters of the Mavericks surfing contest off the coast of Northern California. Now, his widow, Jen, and their twin sons, Brock and Casey—all world-class surfers in their own right—are getting ready to enter the same event. In the weeks leading up to the competition, all three face down individual conflicts: restaurateur Jen struggles to let go of John’s death, seafood supplier Casey seeks to untangle himself from an illegal fish-smuggling operation, and progressive church minister Brock deals with increasingly violent threats from a local white supremacist group. Each subplot comes to a crescendo at the surf competition, which Parker brings to vivid life. Though there’s plenty of suspense, danger, and illicit activity on offer, the novel’s focus is squarely on the Stonebreaker clan, whose bonds and fractures prove utterly riveting in Parker’s hands. This ranks among the author’s best. (July)