Don Winslow's Favorite Crime Novels

Laguna Heat by T. Jefferson Parker 

“A perfect morning in a city of perfect mornings; an artist would have worked, a god would have rested.”
I mean, come on – if I gets any better than the opening sentence of Laguna Heat, I haven’t seen it.
This is the novel that busts California noir out of the confines of Los Angeles – indeed, its lead character, detective Tom Shepard, leaves L.A. to try to rebuild his life in Laguna, and in the process of solving a murder, has to confront his own past. Parker captures a time and a place with such precision, grace and beauty.
I love Laguna Beach and write about Laguna Beach, but Jeff got there first and did it best. I read the book before I ever saw Laguna, and when I finally got there, it was perfectly familiar to me from Jeff’s writing. I was so excited – ‘This is where Laguna Heat happened!’