First Night of Summer

( 88 )

Overview

The quaint mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is the perfect place for Isaac Snow to raise his family. But when eight-year-old daughters, Caroline and Josie, commit an innocent act of heroism, media coverage attracts the wrong kind of attention. Soon, their life unravels, leading them to the crossroads of love and hate, forgiveness and retribution.
In the dark hours of a drizzly morning, Isaac, an ex-air force pilot, wakes to find a masked intruder cradling one of the twins ...
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First Night of Summer

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Overview

The quaint mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is the perfect place for Isaac Snow to raise his family. But when eight-year-old daughters, Caroline and Josie, commit an innocent act of heroism, media coverage attracts the wrong kind of attention. Soon, their life unravels, leading them to the crossroads of love and hate, forgiveness and retribution.
In the dark hours of a drizzly morning, Isaac, an ex-air force pilot, wakes to find a masked intruder cradling one of the twins in his arms. Before he can react, the man in black leaps through the nearest window, plummeting in a tangle of body parts and glass. Isaac charges in pursuit, but is suddenly faced with a new dilemma. Caroline is unconscious, lying facedown in the lawn, cuts from the shattered window saturating her pajamas. If he gives chase, his little girl will surely bleed to death.
From a secretive loner with a pension for unrestrained violence to the pristine granite peaks of the Rocky Mountains-from laughter filled family dinners to a string of cross-country abductions, LANDON PARHAM'S debut novel explores the horrific realities of human weakness and obsession. Taken well beyond the investigation and law-enforcement tactics, you'll find yourself steeped in a power struggle between a father, his family and the huntsman who seeks them. Suspenseful, bold and thought provoking; a true psychological thriller that captures the heart.
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  • First Night of Summer
    First Night of Summer  

Editorial Reviews

Readers' Favorite Review
Brilliant. The suspense starts at the opening pages of this novel and continues without flaws throughout the entire story...head and shoulders above them all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780988802506
  • Publisher: Valiant Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2013
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 740,422
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Landon Parham

Landon Parham lives in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. His hobbies include mountain biking and distance running. The majestic, rural expanses of America inspire his visions and will continue to show up as integral parts of his work.

www.landonparham.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Addictive. You simply cannot put this book down. It has you hook

    Addictive. You simply cannot put this book down. It has you hooked from the first couple chapters. I quickly established a connection with the characters who I found very well-written with human flaws. I will pass this book on as one of my new favorite suspense authors. Book club recommended.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    This fictional story is really sad and haunting because you are

    This fictional story is really sad and haunting because you are so engrossed in the ongoing drama that Isaac Snow and his family has to overcome. I found it powerfully affecting. Disturbing at parts because it is so well written but definitely worth it in the end. This book delivers a strong message of endless hope, pure hatred, deserved retribution and the power of forgiveness. I found it to be one of the most interesting novels that I have read in this genre. Very different but refreshing in its approach. It's the bitter that makes the sweet so strong. A recommended read.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    Disturbing and relevant. An emotional thriller that pulls on you

    Disturbing and relevant. An emotional thriller that pulls on your heart-strings and doesn't let go. The plot line kept me guessing as to what would happen next till the last page. The unique writing style reminded me of Harlan Coben with quick chapters like James Patterson. Great character development and relationships that draw you in. Five stars, a must read.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    How is this book not on the bestseller's list? The first few cha

    How is this book not on the bestseller's list? The first few chapters had me heartbroken, simply because of how emotional it was. But I found that as I went on, I was able to look past the horrific events and focus on how well the characters were written. This is not a mystery novel, it is a portrait of what effects an unimaginable horror has on a family. Cliche to say this, but I simply could not put it down nor could I stop thinking about it. Utterly enthralled, I finished late into the night. When this book was suggested to me, I was slightly apprehensive about reading it because of the child murders. I am so glad that I gave it a chance though-- it gave me a lot to think about, my own life especially. It has become one of my new favorite reads this year.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2013

    Found this recommendation on Goodreads.  Very impressive debut n

    Found this recommendation on Goodreads.  Very impressive debut novel--much better than some other seasoned authors that I am currently reading. It was heart-wrenching, yet strangely uplifting. As a parent, I was almost afraid to read it, but quite glad I did.  Once I got over the darkness of the topic, the death of a young girls, I found this story to be fascinating and absolutely breath-taking. Each and every word carries with it dramatic twists and turns that have you on the edge of your seat. You feel such a strong emotional bond to every single character - such a moving read. I cried, laughed, thought, and screamed when I read this. I just loved it. Even though it was sad, this book had something that made you find happiness through the dark cruelty of our world and understand life in a way I never did. Truly amazing and wonderful.  

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Definitely a psychological thriller with heart! 50% of the book

    Definitely a psychological thriller with heart! 50% of the book is written from the twisted mind of the antagonist while the other 50% you remain engrossed in the main character, his family, and the justice he seeks. The back and forth had me reading at a break speed pace with no place to stop. The heart-wrenching scenes, relatable charaters and plot twists kept me guessing till the end. Great, quick read! Loved it. This one will stay with you...

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    Deeply moving and character driven. Not for the faint-hearted. T

    Deeply moving and character driven. Not for the faint-hearted. The plotline is a powerhouse thrilling story that catapults you through the pages. I haven't had as much time for book reading lately, so it was sheer pleasure to have this compelling page-turner to keep returning to.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    An impressive debut. Its prose is both lucid and bold, exposing

    An impressive debut. Its prose is both lucid and bold, exposing hidden darkness within the world we live in....it took less than a page to seize my attention.  

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Great balls of fire! I cannot begin to say how intense the story

    Great balls of fire! I cannot begin to say how intense the story became. The climax literally made me sweat. Whatever you do, do not have your blood pressure checked while reading this book. I cannot remember the last time I read something so exhilarating, yet softened towards a family's plight. A fantastic rollercoaster of a book. No shortage of suspense, and deep connections to the characters. And the antagonist...ooooh, what a creep. I wanted to jump into the pages and take this guy out myself.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2013

    What a book! 6 hours after reading it, I still can not calm down

    What a book!
    6 hours after reading it, I still can not calm down all these emotions. Oh. My. God. Before you begin, clear your schedule, send your children off, and prepare to go without sleep. Once you're halfway through this book, you won't be able to stop reading. I'd give this book a ten, or one hundred star rating if I could.

    Note to any child abductors: don't abduct the child of a ex-air force, or suffer the consequences. This is the premise of this book. The ending was just perfect for this story!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2013

    An intriguing and thrilling read with great characters. The stor

    An intriguing and thrilling read with great characters. The story follows a father and a man that threatens to destroy his family. It is emotion packed, shocking and equally moving at the same time. Great ending!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Wonderful book! It was fast paced and I couldn't put it down! Th

    Wonderful book! It was fast paced and I couldn't put it down! The characters were magnetic and I was either loving them, hating them or cheering them on! A must read!!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite Freckle-faced fo

    Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

    Freckle-faced four year old Jason Smith sits on the rooftop of his Craftsman-style home in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Jason has a lisp, a wild imagination and a knack for mischief and now he is pretending he is Batman. He jumps off the roof, a twenty-two foot drop, but he is saved by blond and bright Caroline and Josie Snow, his eight year old twin neighbors who hold out a tablecloth and break Jason's fall. Caroline and Josie get lots of media coverage for their brave rescue. Their father Isaac is a pilot for New Mexico's forest fire patrol. Isaac and the girls' mother Sarah have a good life together. They enjoy having Isaac's longtime friend, Ruidoso's Chief of Police Charlie Biddle, for Wednesday night meals. Isaac and Sarah also enjoy having Caroline and Josie watched by Jason's mother so that they can have a night to themselves. But someone is watching Caroline and Josie, dreaming dementedly of kidnapping them. That someone is Ricky Doors who watches the girls through his binoculars as their neighborhood has lots of trees, ridges to hide in and mountains in which people can disappear. Psychotic Ricky longs to be loved by somebody and always asks his victims, "Do you like red?"

    "The First Night of Summer" by Landon Parham is a brilliant, suspenseful story of a pedophile and his sick, twisted desires as he targets a family whose members have only known a life that is good and has been kind to them. The suspense starts at the opening pages of this novel and continues without flaws throughout the entire story. The characters of Isaac, Sarah, Josie, Isaac's parents Tom and Helen, Charlie Biddle, and all the other major and minor characters in "The First Night of Summer" contribute significantly from the moment they are introduced into the storyline. The author uses original mechanics in his writing: for instance, Ricky has himself wheelchair bound to entice one of his victims. There are stories of suspense galore but "The First Night of Summer" is head and shoulders above them all. It is a must read for anyone and everyone!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    I absolutely loved this book. Not only is this a very suspensefu

    I absolutely loved this book. Not only is this a very suspenseful thriller of evil, it is a book of the overwhelming love of family.  You get to know each character and are drawn in  both physically and emotionally. I couldn't wait to finish this book, but at the same time was very sad it  was over. This author has done a fantastic  job of keeping one totally  intrigued. Can't wait for his next book.  

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Brisk pacing with clever twists. Very bold, artful writing. Terr

    Brisk pacing with clever twists. Very bold, artful writing. Terrific book!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Landon Parham plays by his own set of rules in this debut suspen

    Landon Parham plays by his own set of rules in this debut suspense novel, First Night of Summer. The sequences were intricately woven with captivating characters and full of rich detail. Sometimes graphic in nature---walking right up to that line but careful not to cross it. Ricky Doors is a new level of villian as that people like him actually exist in our toxic society. Humanity can be cruel and inhuman whether we choose to recognize it or not. Isaac Snow and his family are forced to recognize it when Ricky Doors attempts to kidnap one of their twin daughters, forever changing the course of their life.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Fascinating, clever and chilling. First, I loved that the setti

    Fascinating, clever and chilling.

    First, I loved that the setting takes place in Ruidoso, New Mexico with such vast, beautiful landscape. Let me preface this review by saying, this novel maybe hard to read in some parts, but it doesn't make it any less brilliant. Filled with heartfelt moments, the first section is devastating as you the reader witness that the lives of these children are brutally cut short. It is amazing how Parham is able to create such intense suspense despite the reader being fully aware of what is going to happen and who the killer is. The story is a disturbing and insightful look into the nature and fragility of the human mind and the compulsion to be violent. The quick, cliffhanger chapters kept my heart racing from beginning to end. It is my summer read recommendation to all my friends. Looking forward to his next.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    In a world where every second person is a self-proclaimed writer

    In a world where every second person is a self-proclaimed writer, myself included, it's easy to forget what makes a debut author stand out among all the other newly published books. It is because they have distinct talent and are good. Let me rephrase that, they are damn good and it sets them apart from the rest of the newbies. Landon Parham is a case at point. While this book may appear to be your run-of-the-mill thriller at first glance, it thoroughly disabuses you of that notion within just a few chapters. He moves the plot forward through a mixture of point-of-views, leaving you hanging on every last sentence waiting to see what will happen next. First Night of Summer is a sad, haunting tale about an ex military man, Isaac Snow and how he must find a way to protect what is left of his family before he loses everything to a dark and demented evil. Some violent parts can be difficult to read, but you will not be able to put it down. It is a fast-paced read with a strong plot driven story.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    A highly entertaining and fast-paced read from this new author.

    A highly entertaining and fast-paced read from this new author. This is an emotionally gripping thriller about a family falling apart, as well as how they must pick up the pieces and cope when their daughters are being followed by a psychotic kidnapper. Some chilling murder scenes---but I thought them to be deftly handled to avoid too much violence. To me, what made this an exceptional read was his ability to craft such richly defined characters that you are so strongly engaged in. I'm a new fan and will be looking for his next book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Don't shy away from subject matter of this book. The content is

    Don't shy away from subject matter of this book. The content is definitely uncomfortable, but within this story of torment is a hidden gem of uplifting emotion. Like many other books in this genre, I found adrenaline in the pages, but furthermore, the author led me into a plotline that digs deeply into the heart. This read is well, well worth it. I hope everyone finds the beauty as I did. Absolutely brilliant!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews

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