10 Quintessential Books That Reflect the Awesomeness of Orange County

Laguna Heat by T. Jefferson Parker (1985)

PLagunaHeatarker’s debut novel about a cop on the trail of a serial killer is a paean to Laguna Beach. He wrote it at night and on weekends while working as a reporter for The Newport Ensign and Daily Pilot, living in an apartment a block from the police station. “I just let my romance with the city take over,” he recently told The Orange County Register. From Laguna Canyon to Divers Cove, the novel’s Laguna Beach is an unspoiled enclave where fawns sprint across the road, days end in high-gloss sunsets, and a guilt‑ridden cop goes home to heal. L.A., meanwhile, is an urban jungle, and Newport Beach a den of deception and greed.

FIRST LINE “A perfect morning in a city of perfect mornings, an artist would have worked, a god would have rested.”