Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

Considering how many books I read, and how many of those books I love, there are surprisingly few that I become a true evangelist for.

I will preach an author and that author's work, but a single novel? Really, not so much.

The exceptions to that are few.

James Anderson's "The Never-Open Desert Diner" is firmly planted on that list.

If you haven't read it yet, please grab a copy. If you have read it, I'm dying to hear what you think.

Here's what Kirkus had to say: “The great tradition of hard-boiled crime novels finds new and promising territory in the Utah desert. Carrying its own cult following after having been published independently last year, this debut novel is a stirring, atmospheric, and even mildly surreal variation on the "mean streets" detective fiction of Raymond Chandler… a witty, rollicking, and somewhat bent mystery/romance… the beginning of a beautiful series.”

"the beginning of a beautiful series?" Whoa!

From Amazon:

"A singularly compelling debut novel, about a desert where people go to escape their past, and a truck driver who finds himself at risk when he falls in love with a mysterious woman.
Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-travelled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert’s inhabitants, Ben's visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years. 

Ben’s routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she’s fleeing something in her past—a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth—but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her. 

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who’ve laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire’s pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery—what reallyhappened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling, The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page."

1 comment:

Maureen Harrington said...

Sounds terrific! It caught my attention, because we lived in a area like that in the high desert of California. We lived in a small town that was, at that time, over two hours to anywhere else. There were abandoned gas stations and diners and not one proper truck stop for miles. We drove miles over Walker Pass to go out for a special dinner at least once a year for our wedding anniversary, until it burned down.