First Night of Summer

Fiction - Suspense
328 Pages
Reviewed on 03/16/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

LANDON PARHAM is a bestselling author who lives in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. His goal as a writer is to raise awareness on everyday issues through fiction, and expose taboo realities that the masses give precious little attention to. The wild, majestic expanses of America inspire his visions and will continue to show up as integral parts of his work.

Parham's debut novel, First Night of Summer, became a bestseller in August 2013 when it hit #21 on Amazon's Top 100 overall paid chart, and #2 on Barnes & Noble. It has garnered attention from numerous law enforcement personnel, social workers, child-care advocates, and parents around the globe, as an emotional and true-to-life story. Darkness will never prevail. If you do not recognize the evil in our world, you will never stand up to it.

Landon is currently seeking a literary agent and working on his next suspense novel following his debut, First Night of Summer. It will tackle a different, but no less suspenseful issue.

“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

Sony e-reader and #1 NYT Bestselling Author, Sandra Brown's Debut Author Pick 2013

To learn more "like" Landon's facebook page or visit his website. Listen to his recent podcast interview with Author Magazine and watch the official book trailer.

    Book Review

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 blonde 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?"

"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 "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 "First Night of Summer" is head and shoulders above them all. It is a must read for anyone and everyone!


I read "First Night of Summer" too and I agree that it was a heart-stopping thrill ride from beginning to end! I loved the colorful cast of characters in this touching story about a man's desperate attempt to save his family from a sociopathic killer. Trust me, once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.


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


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.


I was mesmerized by both the story and all the colorful characters from beginning to end. I read it in 2 days because I couldn't wait to finish it to find out how it ended.
This is one of the best books I have read in the last couple years and I would recommend it to all other suspense readers.


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!!!


The book was a captivating read! Being a Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay fan, it was stunning to see such sophistication in the body of this work for a first time published author, His flow of words kept the story going till the last moment.
Looking forward to his next book!


I was intrigued that the books setting was in a familiar place to me. I purchased it on ibook and was soon caught away in the story. Each chapter left me anxious to read the next and I did not want to put the book down. It turns out I read it all in one sitting, minus a couple of restroom breaks and a dinner break. The book depicts the fortitude of the human spirit in both physical and emotional ways. Purity vs. pure evil is a good description. I cannot tell you how it turns out. I highly recommend the purchase! You will not be disappointed.


From the first chapter this book has you hooked!
I couldn't put it down and found myself thinking about it, wondering what was going to happen next.
Great suspense novel, definitely worth the read!!!!


This is a wonderful book. I was intrigued from the first page. The last portion of the book had my heart racing. Put this author in the same category as Patterson, Cornwell, Lisa Jackson. You won't be disappointed!


Well-written and kept me guessing what would happen next till the very end. Great thriller.


This book came to me as a recommendation and I was surprised how quickly I got taken away with the captivating story. The evil was so dark and twisted it became impossible to stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen next...I kept telling myself one more chapter and before I knew it, I was finished. Magnificent character imagery and a flawless plotline with delivered retribution. The second part of the book had my heart pounding out of my chest and I couldn't seem to turn the pages fast enough. I was completely absorbed and read late into the night, leaving the lights on. Isaac Snow is my new hero. This novel is an enthralling journey of loss, survival instinct, pure hatred and the power of love and forgiveness. Riveting, disturbing and maddeningly addictive. I will definitely be buying his next thriller. I highly recommend!


This book captivated me from the very beginning. I started the book on a weekend and was able to finish it in a day.
Each chapter grabs at your emotions. I found myself empathizing with each of the characters during their moments of anger, sadness, hurt and happiness. This page-turning thriller is hard to put down and keeps you on the edge of your seat, itching for more.


Definitely a psychological thriller with heart! Typically, stories of suspense lack the depth of emotion that I found in this particular read. The writer does a fantastic job portraying the vivid images of the storyline. I was already emotionally involved after the first few chapters. 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 had me in tears, relatable charaters made me feel as if I knew them and the plot twists kept me guessing till the end. This one will stay with you long after the last page...and make you cherish life more than ever before. I have recommended it to all my friends and book clubs. LOVED IT! Great, quick read.


I found this to be a very intense and disturbing story that I couldn't put down. Several parts had me in literal tears because the story was so real. I was left with an overwhelming feeling of needing to hold my kids close and never let them go. I was amazed at the strength and resilience of the family spirit that the author was able to portray. The characters were relatable to me in a way that kept me strongly and emotionally engaged throughout the entire story. If ever there was justice in the world, I found it at the end of this book.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.