After introducing Charlie Hood in his last novel, L.A. Outlaws, T. Jefferson Parker brings Hood back for a second-straight appearance, something Parker has done rarely — possibly ever — in his 15 previous novels. While I may have nit-picked some things in my reviews of Parker’s last three novels, which I liked but didn’t love, I can emphatically say that The Renegades was a damn good book that I damn much enjoyed. The premise is straight-forward: Hood’s partner, Terry Laws, is killed in the line of duty and Charlie is the one who is chosen to find the killer of a cop known as Mr. Wonderful. In typical police procedural fashion, the standard question comes up: Is Laws as perfect as everyone thinks he is? Hood’s investigation takes him into the California desert as well as an equally desolate area near the Mexican border, home to the obligatory drug smugglers. (Allison Murietta, the lead character and Charlie’s love interest in L.A. Outlaws, is referenced several times in the book while her son, Bradley, is featured in the book. Unlike previous Parker novels that were of the stand-alone variety, it would be advisable to read L.A. Outlaws prior to The Renegades to truly understand the plot.) While Hood may have played more of a supporting role in the previous book, in The Renegades there is no question that he is the lead character. And Parker likely has set the stage for Hood — and the desert he patrols — to return, a decision that should delight readers of the first two Charlie Hood novels.