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First Night of Summer
     

First Night of Summer

4.4 101
by Landon Parham
 

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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

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780988802513
Publisher:
Valiant Books
Publication date:
02/01/2013
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,033,064
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.73(d)

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What People are Saying About This

Sandra Brown
Thoroughly engaging from start to finish...Overwhelming love, fear, self-doubt, and rage...emotions any parent could relate to. A foe that readers will want to see defeated, abolished, ground to dust. —Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of LETHAL

Meet the Author

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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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First Night of Summer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MikePW More than 1 year ago
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.
Dbooks56 More than 1 year ago
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.
Lynda2 More than 1 year ago
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.
ErinPBarrett More than 1 year ago
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.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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...
BlackBirdPB More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Jbob101 More than 1 year ago
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!
Matthew806 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brisk pacing with clever twists. Very bold, artful writing. Terrific book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
NancyLeo More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
W2readbooks More than 1 year ago
First Night of Summer is set in Ruidoso, New Mexico, one of my favorite places to visit which made this fast-paced read even more enjoyable to me personally. Here is my quick breakdown of the book. It's a psychological thriller about a family that was nearly torn apart by a horrific tragedy and the father who must hold it together. Isaac Snow is the father of 8 year-old twin daughters, Caroline and Josie, who wind up as the next chosen targets of a secretive and violent loner--Ricky Doors, a man that carefully calculates his next victims with a hidden motive. Isaac was awakened in the dark hours of the morning to find the intruder holding Caroline in his arms---he quickly reacts and pursues the man, who jumps through the nearest window, shattering glass and leaving Caroline bleeding heavily on the lawn as he escapes. The invisible predator continues to taunt their family during the summer, boasting his abilities. This forces Isaac to return to his ex-military ways in order to protect his other daughter, a mind-set he longed to forget. Neither Isaac or Ricky, will stop at nothing to get what they want. The depth of a man's character will be challenged and punishment will be served. Clever tactics and realistic, First Night of Summer digs deep into the psyches of its main characters and leaves you wanting more, seeking a man's justice. It had me spellbound to its pages and I could not quit reading. I absolutely loved it. I read all kinds of thrillers and so many are all the same, this one surprised me being written with a perspective from the family, which triggered more emotion and relatability---very unique, especially for this genre. Definitely be sure to add this one to your must read list.
WendyRGirl More than 1 year ago
Beautifully-written. Sad. Thoughtful. Disturbing. Shocking. Surprising. Not what your expecting. An experience that pulls you deeper and deeper into the ever-changing kaleidoscope of the author's masterful storytelling. Read it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A captivating read that left me longing for more. The author has an easy to read writing style that keeps you close to the storyline.  Not many places in this book to get bored.  Very fast paced from beginning to end.  First Night of Summer shines a bright light on a dark secret that lurks in our society. Don't shy away from this unforgettable read.
BonnieH413 More than 1 year ago
When I first became an avid reader I read primarily psychological thriller type novels; that’s almost all I read. So when I heard about this one, it not only sounded good, but I realized I had yet to read a single psychological thriller this year I decided to dive into this one right away. My eventual love for this novel was a combination of the long time spent away from the genre and the fact that the novel was truly riveting and I couldn’t stop turning pages (or clicking my kindle button). The author's writing style has "best seller" all over it, from his flowing narratives, dialogue, even down to minute descriptions that involve you completely in the story. It went deep into the characterizations and the complexity of relationships. People might think I'm crazy, but at one point I actually felt sorry for Ricky. This book was exciting enough to have me reading like a madman to get to the end; I finished this in less than 24 hours. The plot wasn’t overly complex, but still managed to throw a few curveballs in that you may or may not see coming. Overall I was incredibly pleased with this novel and will be looking for future books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only word I can find to do justice to this book is devastating: devastatingly beautiful and devastatingly sad....but I praise the author for his ability to create such crystal clear portraits of humanity, and not being afraid to place them on the darker side of life. It reminds us all that anyone is capable of almost anything.  This is a sharp, intelligent, suspenseful debut novel.