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Summer of Fear

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  397 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
When reporter/crime writer Russell Monroe finds his former lover brutally slain in an apparently ritual style, he suspects a connection to other recent murders in the county. Somehow, the case never appears on the police blotter - although Russell saw his former colleague, homicide chief Marty Parish, leaving the scene of the crime - and soon all evidence of the death disa ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 15th 1994 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published June 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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David Carr
Apr 09, 2013 David Carr rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
I missed this when it came out in 1993, at a time when the serial killer novel was fresh and satisfying to a good boy like me -- as well as a great lesson in manners. And as a product of its time all the basic elements are here, probably more than needed. In fact, it is an overstuffed work, and one star less in quality than Parker's best work, like Silent Joe, Red Light, and Black Water. (However, it is not as preposterous as his most recent books in the Charlie Hood series, as that is a difficu ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it
This was different from Parker's other novels that I've read. Although it is a mystery it is much more metaphysical than the usual in the genre. Characters are complex. The plot is well defined and has many twists and turns. It is not a quick read, but the reader will stay up late trying to learn what happens next.
Jan 08, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
I have been trying to read the books I have missed by this author, T. Jefferson Parker, since I enjoy his writing immensely. This particular novel has a complicated plot, a lot of action, interesting characters and also philosophical points to ponder.

It takes place in Orange County, CA, mostly in Laguna Beach, and the time span covers the summer months in a year sometime in the 1990s. At this particular point in time, the area is being plagued by a series of horrific murders which the law enforc
Jun 10, 2015 Jill rated it liked it
I've been foraging around for Jefferson Parker books ever since I read California Girl, Silent Joe and The Fallen. After discovering and devouring those 3 novels, I felt I'd stumbled onto a not so well known writer of excellent thriller/mystery books, and yippee - he's written so many of them!

And admittedly, Summer of Fear was written before those 3 excellent novels, so perhaps the author was still finding his feet when writing Summer of Fear. All the ingredients are there -- ex-cop turned write
Jan 09, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This was my first book by Parker, and I was impressed enough that I will definitely be reading more of him. He has several that I can't wait to get my hands on!

Summer of Fear - If I had known beforehand that the main character's wife had terminal brain cancer, I never would have picked this book up; I typically avoid reading anything to do with scary diseases at all costs. I'm really glad that I gave the book a chance, though. Russ's undying love for his wife was a beautiful thing (definitely c
Oct 03, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember seeing this book on my mother's bookshelf when I was growing up, so when I stumbled across it in the library, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I was vaguely aware with T. Jefferson Parker as an author, but I'd never read any of his books. I must say that, as an introduction, Summer of Fear is a really quite good. If the rest of his books are as well-written as this, I'm very interested in reading more of his work.

Summer of Fear reads more like a thriller than a mystery, but the mystery
Aug 07, 2011 Don rated it really liked it
This is now one of my favorite tales from T. Jefferson Parker. Russ Monroe, crime-writer, finds himself a prime suspect in the investigation of the murder of his former mistress while he holds strong suspicions about his competitor and successor for the dead women’s attentions – the homicide detective seen by Monroe surreptitiously leaving the victim’s house just before Monroe discovered her body. Meanwhile, Monroe becomes the conduit for communication between the police and a serial killer ter ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Crime writer Ross Monroe lives in a house on stilts in Laguna Canyon. His wife is suffering from a malignant brain tumor and Monroe's health insurance has stopped paying her claims. On July 3 the night the story begins, there is a hot wind blowing up the canyon and Ross is sitting in his car outside of the house of a long-ago girlfriend, Amber Mae Wilson, the mother of Ross's only child, Grace. A man leaves the house, a handkerchief in his hand wiping prints away as he leaves.

In Orange County, C
Jun 29, 2015 Debbie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
this was vacation reading was ok but I just felt there wasn't one believable character in the story and that the story itself was just over the top. Honestly, Marty doesn't go to jail for what he does? And Russ is constantly having his own pity party - don't get me wrong - what's going on with is wife is horrible but why is that even in the story- He could be a happily married guy and that plot wouldn't change - he could be single and only the very end would need adjustment.

and the dialog
May 14, 2016 AV AV rated it liked it
Ik vraag me af of het meest waarachtige inzicht in iemands persoonlijkheid niet wordt verkregen aan de hand van de dingen waarvan hij of zij houdt, of het leven, in de meest elementaire vorm, niet een tijd is om te ontdekken wat die dingen zijn en wie deze mensen zijn. Hoewel Parker een vlotte pen voert en zijn verhalen prettig leesbaar zijn, krijg je bij zijn derde boek het idee: alweer zo'n lugubere moordenaar. Elk ander "normaal" mens zou allang volledig over de rooie zijn als hij zou meemake ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Mamma23 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cops, creepycrime
Love me some T Jeff, and I can't believe I missed this one until now.

It is, as usual, a suspenseful, gory, intense summer read. I love how his books take place in S. Cal, this one is Laguna. It is very graphic....and the second plot line about the brain-cancer stricken wife is heartbreaking. The main character Monroe's soul-searching in the face of adversity and mahem completes the richness of the tapestry T.Jeff weaves.

Good plot twists and believable, fallible characters make it interesting.

Oct 23, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book to read. I've read Parker's books for years now and so far this is my favorite one out of all. This novel has a difficult plot in my opinion, but it has a lot of action and the characters are phenomenal. The setting takes place mostly at Laguna Beach, C.A. I have also come to realize that Parkers books are like puzzles that you have to solve or unscramble while your reading. If your the person that loves to read mysteries and thrillers, then this is a great book for you ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Christa rated it really liked it
If there was ever a book of a dog chasing his tail, this is it. Fast paced, scary, intimidating, ever making you question what you think is the answer, this one keeps you on your toes. At some point, I even thought the serial killer was going to be a continued saga in a series because it seemed the personal story of the main character was taking over. Wrong again! Very good writing, I'm going to have to try another of Parker's work.
Sep 25, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Finally finished it after the drive for Mother's Day weekend (10 audio discs). It had quite the twist at the end that I wasn't expecting and I liked the way it resolved everything in the end. I could have done without the language and both my husband and I became confused when the author went off on back stories and then out of no where came right back to the story. But overall, a good murder mystery read (or in our case "listen").
Oct 21, 2016 Laraine rated it really liked it
I'd rate this a strong 4 star book. An early book of Parker's, he tells the story of Russ Monroe, former deputy and now journalist, who is fighting to keep his wife alive in her battle with a brain tumour. But a serial killer has other plans for Russ and he is soon involved in a race to find the killer before he kills again. There is also a plot to frame Russ for another killing. An interesting read.
Jul 20, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
I got this book by accident, as I was going to get Summer Of Fear by Lois Duncan to donate to a kid's book drive. I had no knowledge of the author when I received the book. Overall, I enjoyed it, a mystery thriller with twists and turns. The gore was a bit much for my taste, but the setup was handled very well. I was unable to suspend my disbelief in only one major area- that cops covering up a murder would only get a handslap when found out. I will look for other Parker books to enjoy.
Feb 27, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parker's "Summer of Fear" is a thriller to say the least. From the first page, Parker pulls you into the main character life thus thrusting you on a roller coaster ride which keeps you fasten to your seat until the end. I'm sure it was one of, if not the scariest book I've ever read...and I loved every minute of it.
Mar 17, 2010 Jackie rated it it was ok
I am a bit disappointed with this book from one of my favorite authors. It is a stand alone, and the violence to children, animals and adults was just too graphic for me. He did a good job of building suspense and the twist at the end wasn't predictable. I'm just glad this wasn't the first book of his I read! I love his stuff normally.
Dec 14, 2011 Marti rated it liked it
What a strange book. When I began this book, I expected it to be as good as the last T. Jefferso Paarket book I read, but it wasn't. For a story about a serial killer, it seemed dull. Even the other killing--by mistake--the sister instead of the mother, or ex wife, was somewhat dreary. Along with that, there were parts that were confusing. Maybe this should have been the next to last draft.
Jul 29, 2012 Lenore rated it it was ok
Shelves: hc-library
I got this book in error for a different book by the same title. The characters did not grab me, nor did the plot until I was about halfway through. I wonder why I kept reading, except that there were some wonderful lyrical passages in which the main character was musing on the meaning of life.
Jan 23, 2015 Gimena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este es uno de esos libros que sabés que amaste cuando lo terminaste de leer y después de tantos años seguís amando, aún cuando no puedes recordar de qué demonios se trataba, jaja. Me gustan los libros que tratan sobre crímenes y que tienen suspenso; este se encuentra en mi lista de favoritos.
Dec 20, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Another good book by T. Jefferson Parker, will get the next in line next time I go to the Library. Am reading his old books to catch up to where I am today. These early books each have different characters, not a series like the others later on, but still good books.
Jan 08, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
This is my second T. Jefferson Parker. Although I did not enjoy it as much as my first, it won't be my last. Crime writer, Russ Monroe is drawn into the case of a vicious serial killer in a hot California summer while his own wife battles her own war with brain cancer.
Diane Fanning
Jul 08, 2012 Diane Fanning rated it it was amazing
I must confess that part of the attraction of this book for me was the fact that the protagonist was a true crime writer. But all in all, it is up to T. Jefferson Parker's high standards of suspense with enough twists and turns for several books.
Apr 08, 2014 Gizzard rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
This is a fairly dated mystery but available from the kindle lending library. This might have been groundbreaking when it was written, but now, it seems kind of same old same old. The hard edge just seems dated.
Feb 19, 2016 Andy rated it liked it
I love me some Parker. But I love me some Charlie Hood more. I couldn't quite get into Summer of Fear, even though it had its moments. It's a good detective novel, but I appreciate the big world of Charlie to the smaller environment of Monroe.
Nov 30, 2013 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
Mix of serial killer and cop copycat killer with a twist.
Wife with cancer.
Good ending with serial killer in the home of Russ Monroe, crime writer.
Jan 30, 2015 Rebekkila rated it liked it
The author is a good writer, he is one of those thriller writers who doesn't rely entirely on action, which isn't something I necessarily like in an author but in his case it works.
Aug 16, 2015 Siejoe added it
Het verdwenen lijk
Sep 29, 2016 Margaret rated it liked it
Always love Parker's book set in my beloved Orange County.
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T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of 20 crime novels, including Edgar Award-winners Silent Joe and California Girl. Parker's next work is a literary novel, Full Measure, to be published in October. He lives with his family in Southern California
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