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Heat Signature
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Heat Signature

by Lisa Teasley
 

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Part noir, part odyssey, Heat Signature mines the psychological and emotional landscape of loss as a son tries to cope with the murder of his mother.

Sam Brown sets out on a road trip from his home in a small California desert town to the cooler, greener climes of the Northwest. He tells himself he just needs a break, from his father, a dead-end

Overview

Part noir, part odyssey, Heat Signature mines the psychological and emotional landscape of loss as a son tries to cope with the murder of his mother.

Sam Brown sets out on a road trip from his home in a small California desert town to the cooler, greener climes of the Northwest. He tells himself he just needs a break, from his father, a dead-end relationship with a stripper, his job as a nurse, and his troubled best friend. But what he can't escape, no matter how many miles he travels, is the memory of his mother, July, who was brutally murdered sixteen years earlier and visits him regularly in his dreams. Sam's grief is sorely renewed when he learns July's murderer is soon to be released from prison. Overcome by strong feelings of panic and revenge, he turns to women. He reconnects with a former patient in Los Angeles. In Santa Barbara he meets a sage/philosopher who inspires him to put order in his life. In Oregon, he falls in love with an arborist whose woodsy home provides peace and refuge—at least for a while. Simultaneous with Sam's journey, his mother's story unfolds, coming to a climax when the details of July's grisly murder are revealed. Through a fast-paced, gripping narrative, Heat Signature explores the complexities of family and friendship, love and loss, race and sexuality.

Editorial Reviews

author of The Tribes of Palos Verdes and The Road Joy Nicholson
Lisa Teasley has fashioned an extraordinary literary suspense novel: crisp, brutal and concise in tone, with engaging, wholly original characters.
From the Publisher

“Lisa Teasley has fashioned an extraordinary literary suspense novel: crisp, brutal and concise in tone, with engaging, wholly original characters.” —Joy Nicholson, author of The Tribes of Palos Verdes and The Road to Esmeralda

“In a prose that almost glistens on the page, Heat Signature describes parabolas of loss and recovery, both satisfying a reader's appetite for consolation and coherence, and, curiously, whetting it anew. Teasley writes with brio, heart, and (yes) heat, too.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Son of a Witch

“Lisa Teasley…transcends the psychological thriller genre with sensitively drawn characters and a literary sensibility …. [Heat Signature] is poignant, affecting and true.” —Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly
Teasley (Dive) transcends the mystery and thriller genres with her moody second novel populated by unusual but recognizable people living on the left coast of America each wounded in his or her own way. The son of an African-American woman and a Native American man, 31-year-old Sam Brown is haunted by memories of his mother, July, who was raped and murdered when he was a teenager. Sam lives with his gruff, eccentric but loving stepfather, pipe fitter Joe Braxton, in the California desert community of Twentynine Palms, where Sam works as a nurse at the vast military base that dominates the area. Learning that July's killer is about to be released from prison in San Diego, Sam sets off on a road trip up the Pacific coast, seeking solace and pleasure from a series of short-lived affairs with women, including a former patient in Los Angeles, a near-saint in Santa Barbara and a tree expert in Oregon. Teasley interrupts Sam's odyssey with flashbacks to the sad details of July's death, giving her novel a dark, effective frame. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This ambitious, richly imagined novel tackles loss, recovery, and friendship. Sam is a young man haunted by the grisly murder of his mother many years ago. After learning that her killer has just been released on parole, he sets out on what he hopes will be a healing road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway from southern California. Throughout this journey, however, he is tormented by feelings of regret, confusion, and fear. He is saved, ultimately, by the exceptional women he meets along the way. Sam is African American, and race plays a role in the story, but Teasley's primary focus is Sam's psychological state. She convincingly depicts his agonizing emotional struggles and dramatically shifting moods. As she did in her first novel, Dive, Teasley also skillfully intertwines both romantic and violent plot elements. Although not without weaknesses (virtually every woman Sam meets falls in love with him), this is nonetheless an affecting novel. Recommended for most libraries. Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596911017
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/22/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.21(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Teasley is the author of the award-winning story collection Glow in the Dark and a novel, Dive. She lives in Los Angeles.

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