“Anderson rewards…with deadly adventure and the most poetic prose this side of Salt Lake City.”
—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“The action is nonstop, and the plot twists are heart-pounding. Anderson’s vivid prose gives a sense of vastness that is the desert he so brilliantly describes – it is an amazing use of language to create a mood and feeling…Fans of Anderson’s first installment of this series will devour this book and long for another visit with the residents along Route 117.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review
“Atmospheric . . . Arresting desert vistas and distinctive characters leave a lasting impression.”
James Anderson dazzled readers and critics with his thrilling and moving debut The Never-Open Desert Diner, featuring Ben Jones, a lone wolf truck driver servicing the oddballs, fugitives, and recluses on Utah’s remote Highway 117. The New York Times called Anderson “one fine storyteller” while the Washington Post praised Anderson for his writing, plot dialogue, suspense, humor, and vivid sense of place (see additional praise attached). On January 16, 2018, Anderson brings Jones back to readers with his latest work, a powerful literary crime novel about parenthood, loss, and the desert in winter: LULLABY ROAD (Crown).
Winter has come to Route 117, a remote road through the high desert of Utah trafficked only by those looking to escape the world and those the world has rejected. Local truck driver Jones, still in mourning over the
devastating murder of his lover Claire, is trying to get through another season of his job navigating treacherous roads and sudden snowfall without accident when a mute Hispanic child is placed in Jones’s path at a seedy truck stop along his route bearing a note that simply reads “Please, Ben. Bad trouble. My son. Take him today. His name is Juan. Trust you only. Tell no one. Pedro.” From that moment forward, nothing will ever be the same. Not for Ben. Not for the child. And not for anyone along the seemingly empty stretch of road known as Route 117.
Despite deep misgivings, and without any hint of who the child is or the grave danger he’s facing, Jones takes the child with him and sets out into a landscape that is as dangerous as it is beautiful and silent. With the help of his eccentric neighbors—Phyllis, who turned up one day in her Rolls-Royce with two children in tow and the FBI on her tail; Andy, a Utah State Trooper who is on or off duty depending on if his hat is on or off his head; and Roy, an ex–coal miner who has lived in Rockmuse, off Highway 117, his whole life and survives on odd jobs and the kindness of his neighbors—Jones uncovers buried secrets of the desert that are far more painful than he could have imagined.
In LULLABY ROAD, readers will find themselves enthralled by Anderson’s vivid sense of place and his beautiful and heartbreaking narrative.