Sunday, August 24, 2008

Laguna Heat - T. Jefferson Parker

After killing a teenager in the line of duty, Tom Shepard resigns his big-city police badge and heads home to Laguna Beach to be sole member of the homicide division. His first case turns into a serial murder case where the murderer is sending the victims Bibles before he comes to murder them and burn their bodies.

As Tom investigates the murders, he begins to discover connections to his father, Wade Shepard, a former police officer and present-day minister. These connections also unearth information about the murder of Tom's mother Colleen. Colleen was murdered shortly after Tom's birth.

This is Parker's first novel, but not the first work I've read by him. While I enjoyed Laguna Heat, Parker definitely grew as a writer with subsequent novels. I listened to this book on audio and there were several places where I literally thought, "he didn't really say that, did he?" Some word choice and dialogue were a bit rough around the edges and were noticeably out of place.

Parker's cast of characters in this novel is nothing short of diverse. From Wade, the televised minister, to Little Theodore, a stereotypical biker who listens to Wade on the radio! My personal favorite would have to be the sea lion.

Despite being set in Laguna Beach, Parker creates a very melancholy tone. Tom is still attempting to deal with shooting the teenager as well as his divorce from Louise. His ex-wife has taken up with a Hollywood producer. Jane Algernon, the daughter of one of the murder victims, has a significant chip on her shoulder with regards to her relationship with her father. Helene Long is a suicidal alcoholic. So, despite the sun and money, Parker portrays a much darker side of Laguna Beach.

The plot was enjoyable. Not an overwhelming amount of suspense, but a good crime fiction plot. There were predictable elements, but overall, it was an enjoyable book to listen to in the car.


beauvallet August 24, 2008 at 11:12 PM  

The only book by TJ Parker I've read is SILENT JOE. Have you read it? And if you have, how would compare his Joe to Crais's Joe Pike?

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP