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January 29 , 2010

Afternoon Heat

A 1999 Pulp Fiction


Two men and one woman. One of the men is a killer. Who is going to die first? In the rich tradition of Jim Thompson's "The Killer inside Me" plus the more recent TV series, DEXTER, this novel explores the life style and mind set of a killer. A serial killer, lone wolf type. The story is set in the glittering beach cities of Southern California during the year 1999. 1999 is a good year. Stocks are up and the only problem in the White House is misuse of Cuban cigars. People in their twenties are finding it easy to make money. The economy is great and life at the beach couldn't get any better. There is sex, sushi, drugs, drinking, goth/vampire clubs and good times to be had by all. Even serial killers. Tom has arrived in California after five years of travel and killing. He has changed his identity more often than some people change their pants. He is 23 years old, tall and strong. He would be good looking except for a certain blankness of expression. Tom has never been caught. He is still unknown to the law. In his mind, he is free to do whatever he wants. To kill whomever he wants. Tom does not obey rules, except for his own rules. He has decided that he will not kill in his own backyard. He will no longer kill near where he lives. Tempting him to forget his rules, is his beautiful neighbor. A woman he can't stop thinking about unless he kills someone else. When the attraction between him and the neighbor heats up under the summer sun, Tom is at a lost. Other killings do not do the trick. It all goes back to her, every time. What is a killer to do? First inspired by a documentary on death row inmates, the author was struck by the intense but non-emotional blue eyes of a 22 year old killer on death row. Then in a panel of authors at the Festival of Books at UCLA, a one of the authors remarked about his visit to death row, confirming how the eyes of the killer he visited were so intense but empty at the same time. Then the movie "Kalifornia" with Brad Pitt further interested the author in killers. Perhaps being raised by a LAPD Vice cop helped too. After years of study in the field of psychology, the author decided to write Afternoon Heat. What if a killer was still unknown? What if a killer did not work for organized crime? What if a killer was smart? Can a killer love? Is there any goodness in a killer? What does a killer enjoy in his spare time? What if a killer has no need to kill? All these questions and more are answered in this amusing, terrifying ride through a steamy hot summer in SoCal, 1999.
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