By Adam B. Vary
Updated February 23, 2007 05:00 AM

There are actually two books competing for your attention in T. Jefferson Parker’s Storm Runners. One is a psychologically sharp crime thriller about an ex-cop damaged inside and out after his wife and young son are blown up by a ruthless gang leader (and old high school friend). The other is a drippy, vaguely Crichtonesque yarn about a San Diego weather reporter pressured by the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power to cease her pursuit of ”moisture acceleration” (i.e., rainmaking). Parker grafts them together when the reporter hires the ex-cop for protection. Though he still wrings some tasty tension from both stories, the stitches definitely show. B-