The burned-out Memphis cop named Turner who sought refuge from his demons as a rural sheriff's deputy in James Sallis's Cyprus Grove is still a long way from being socialized in Cripple Creek. But he's now admitting visitors to his cabin in the woods, and when a mobster blows in from the city to spring a confederate from the local jail, Turner is mad enough to take his grievance straight back to Memphis. "Figure they can do whatever they want out here on the edge, I'm thinking, "he says, in the spare but eloquent idiom that pegs himalong with this superior seriesas a keeper.” Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“A darkly moving mystery that is unlike anything else being written today.” Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune
“It's a crime that a writer this good isn't better known.” David Montgomery, Chicago Sun Times
“Sallis' lyricism and power trump everything else, including a shock at the end of the book. This is one you absolutely don't want to miss.” Les Roberts, Cleveland Plain Dealer *
“Beautifully written…Sallis's working method is to simply let the cameras roll, depicting the lives of Turner, his banjo-picking girlfriend, his eccentric co-workers and Cripple Creek itself. A structural sleight of hand toward the end…is pretty amazing once the reader catches on.” Associated Press
“James Sallis weaves another rich tale, with plenty of that fine embroidery that makes his stories such pure reading pleasure. The book is full of asides, observations and reminiscences that celebrate humanity.” Charlotte Observer
“A sequel to Sallis' Cypress Grove, it's equally brilliant and poignant.” Adam Woog, Seattle Times
“Grade: A…Sallis is an excellent writer who plays the English language like a well-tuned country fiddle.” Patti Thorn, Rocky Mountain News
In Sallis's beautifully written second book to feature Turner, an ex-cop and ex-con (after 2004's Cypress Grove), Turner is working as a deputy sheriff in Cripple Creek, Tenn., a small town where crime is minor and strictly local. Then, late one night, Sheriff Don Lee arrests drunk driver Judd Kurtz with $200,000 in a nylon gym bag hidden in the trunk of his car. Kurtz breaks out of the town jail, seriously wounding two officers in the process. Turner's investigation leads him to an organized crime connection in nearby Memphis that enmeshes him in a web of escalating violence. Sallis's working method is to simply let the cameras roll, depicting the lives of Turner, his banjo-picking girlfriend, his eccentric co-workers and Cripple Creek itself, as everyone goes about their business. Small moments are recorded as faithfully as large, and stories from earlier days mix with the ongoing crimes and misdemeanors of the present. A structural sleight of hand toward the end may at first confuse but is pretty amazing once the reader catches on. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Dodging trouble, ex-cop, ex-con J. Turner has run to one of those small towns that time forgot (Cypress Groves, 2003), but trouble finds him, since, as Turner himself likes to say, "No one is exempt."When Sheriff Don Lee and Deputy Turner check out the trunk of a spaced-out speeder, they find a stolen $200,000. Soon enough, the rightful owners-hard cases from Memphis with little interest in finesse-come after it. Gunned down, Sheriff Lee hovers near death, and Turner, whose unwritten code is set in stone, sees no choice but retaliation. In Memphis, he calls in favors, generates the requisite intelligence, takes out a couple of bad guys and heads home, confident that the deadly game of vendetta he's started will continue till most of the participants have checked out. He's right, but he's not entirely prepared for retaliation from his antagonists, people schooled in an old and bloody tradition. They understand that lasting hurt is best derived from collateral damage, and that Turner, formidable though he is, has more vulnerable loved ones. As usual with Sallis, you don't get a lot of plot. What you get instead are characters to engage the mind and heart and some of the most flavorful writing crime fiction has to offer ("cordovan shoes so highly polished it looked like he was walking on two violins").