LAGUNA HEAT (1985)
Laguna, where every day the sun makes a promise the nighttime breaks, while the super-rich live out expensive fantasies in posh beach houses and drown their memories in Cuervo Gold margaritaswhere trouble has swept in like a Santa Ana wind, blowing the cover off a world of torture, murder, and blood-red secretswhere a crazed killer has turned paradise into a Disneyland of depraved violencewith a fiery vengeanceand where homicide cop Tom Shephard unravels a grisly mystery that reaches back across forty years of sordid sex, blackmail, and suicide into the dark corners of his own past, and sweats out a deadly truth in the sweltering Laguna Heat.
Read an excerpt.
Jeff Parker on LAGUNA HEAT
This was a real labor of love. Five full drafts, five years of writing part-time while I did my newspaper job. Like a lot of young writers I was trying to copy my heros. I ended up with a draft of bad Chandler, a draft of bad Hemingway, a draft of bad Tom McGuane, a draft of bad Garcia-Marquez. So finally I sat down and wrote another draft in pure Jeff Parker. I remember struggling over that first sentence for hours. It finally came: "A perfect morning in a city of perfect mornings; an artist would have worked, a god would have rested." I was proud of that sentence. A little purple for a mystery, but so what? It's a young man's book and young men's books can be good things. It still holds up, I think, the story is strong.
St. Martin's US hardcover September 1985 ISBN 0312464347
St. Martin's US paperback reissue August 1993 ISBN 0312952058
Arrow UK paperback November 1987 ISBN 0099492105
HBO movie starring Harry Hamlin and Catherine Hicks, 1987
Slick and elegant.
Los Angeles Times
A dandy detective yarn...the author has a flair for intricate plotting, swift pacing, and well-drawn characters that jump off the page.
Dallas Morning News
California classic....Laguna Heat will linger in the memory long after all the puzzle's pieces are finally in place.
The Washington Post