Salt River

Salt River

by James Sallis


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The poignant and surprising new thriller by one of America's most acclaimed writers.

Few American writers create more memorable landscapes—both natural and interior—than James Sallis. His highly praised Lew Griffin novels evoked classic New Orleans and the convoluted inner space of his black private detective. More recently—in Cypress Grove and Cripple Creek—he has conjured a small town somewhere near Memphis, where John Turner—ex-policeman, ex-con, war veteran and former therapist—has come to escape his past. But the past proved inescapable; thrust into the role of Deputy Sheriff, Turner finds himself at the center of his new community, one that, like so many others, is drying up, disappearing before his eyes.

As Salt River begins, two years have passed since Turner's amour, Val Bjorn, was shot as they sat together on the porch of his cabin. Sometimes you just have to see how much music you can make with what you have left, Val had told him, a mantra for picking up the pieces around her death, not sure how much he or the town has left. Then the sheriff's long-lost son comes plowing down Main Street into City Hall in what appears to be a stolen car. And waiting at Turner's cabin is his good friend, Eldon Brown, Val's banjo on the back of his motorcycle so that it looks as though he has two heads. "They think I killed someone," he says. Turner asks: "Did you?" And Eldon responds: "I don't know." Haunted by his own ghosts, Turner nonetheless goes in search of a truth he's not sure he can live with.

James Sallis has been called by critics one of the best writers in America. "It's a crime that a writer this good isn't better known," wrote David Montgomery in the Chicago Tribune, while Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times Book Review called his Turner books "a superior series…a keeper." Salt River will take his reputation even higher and reach the wider audience he so richly deserves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781842437360
Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication date: 05/28/2012
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

James Sallis is the author of more than two dozen volumes of fiction, poetry, biography, translation, essays, and criticism, including the Lew Griffin sextet, Drive, Cypress Grove, and Cripple Creek. His biography of the great crime writer Chester Himes is an acknowledged classic. Sallis lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Salt River 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it odd. Short story, about 100 pages. Very good writing, but I did not like the story or the overly somber musings of the character. Just odd. Some may like it. Kat
gophergolfer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third of a series, cleverly evocative of life in the rural south. The series needs to be read in order starting with "Cypress Grove", then "Cripple Creek". The earlier books were longer, and in a way more satisfying. One of the main characters in the series is killed at the end of the second novel. This is an existential story about the protagonist, an ex-con, ex-lawman, who becomes central to solving crimes at a small, down at the ears, southern town
blueslibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sallis' latest crime novel is a meditative study of loss and pain. Ex-con, ex-therapist John Turner is now sheriff in a small rural Tennessee town, dealing with his own demons like his lost love while trying to solve the crimes around him. His friend is on the run for a murder he didn't commit, while the previous sheriff's son lies incapacitated in the hospital after an accident in a stolen car. All of this is really incidental to Sallis's ruminations through his characters. Life, death and love are all examined through the lens of a heartbroken man in a dying town. If all this sounds terribly depressing, believe me, it's not. Sallis is a superb writer and even at his most philosophical, he is fascinating to read, and never preachy. Fans of James Lee Burke who haven't yet discovered this enchanting writer are in for a treat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Potentially a good story, but as my first encounter withTurner, i was woefully uninformed as to characters, names,relationships, etc. Could have used more pages, or a clear caveat that this was a continuation of a character. I had to continually go back and re read to figure out who and what Sallis was talking about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Two years have passed since John Turner sat with his beloved Bal Bjorn on his porch when she was shot and killed. Psychiatrists say time heals all wounds, but John knows otherwise as he still grieves his loss. The former cop has since become sheriff of the dying rural town that lies between Memphis and Soon No More. -------------------- Turner sits on a bench on economically depressed Main Street discussing with Doc how ugly life is except for the banjo. Suddenly, a speeding car driven by Billy Bates is out of control and crashes into city hall. As Billy is taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, Turner investigates the return of the troubled son of former sheriff Lonnie Bates. What he finds deeply shakes him to his already troubled soul.-------------- The return of that great twenty-first century southern philosopher John Turner (see CYPRESS GROVE and CRIPPLE CREEK) will be fully appreciated by fans of James Sallis. The investigations (the other one involves his musician pal Eldon) is well written, but is used to enhance the deep look at a dying way of life. The writing is fabulous as the depressed area is vividly depicted mostly through Turner¿s musings on living, music, and dying. Readers who appreciate a strong regional tale that focuses on the human condition will relish SALT RIVER in which the police procedural elements are used to provide a powerful spotlight on the last death kicks of a once thriving era that has turned geriatric.-------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in. "what up."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May i join
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She wandered around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hello." A girl with dark short hair and amber eyes appears.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nu. I'll have to talk to you guys tomorrow. Mah mother ish taking me to Walmart to get peanut butter.