Synopses & Reviews
The discovery of a mass grave in the woods outside present day Willnot a small Southern town opens this sly nuanced tale from Sallis (Others of My Kind). Lamar Hale Willnot’s indefatigable general practitioner and surgeon investigates. Meanwhile Bobby Lowndes a troubled young combat vet whom Hale treated years before suddenly appears back in his hometown. Lowndes’s intentions are unclear and his ghostly presence is unsettling especially when the FBI arrives in Willnot on his trail. Things get really eerie when Lowndes is shot by an unknown sniper and he promptly walks out of the hospital and disappears. A series of violent incidents culminates with the shooting of Hale’s partner Richard. Hale’s instinctive resistance to pat generalizations and reductive diagnoses makes him an effective and compassionate healer—and a good amateur sleuth. Sallis is without peer when it comes to interweaving seemingly disparate narrative threads and his work consistently challenges readers to question their assumptions about themselves and other people. Agent: Vicky Bijur Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (June) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
In his celebrated career, James Sallis has created some of the most finely drawn protagonists in crime fiction, all of them thoughtful observers of the human condition: Lew Griffin, the black New Orleans private investigator; retired detective John Turner; the unnamed wheelman in Drive. Dr. Lamar Hale will now join the ranks of Sallis's finest characters.
In the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes--his military records disappeared, being followed by the FBI--mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale's door. Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, collide with the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot. And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale's world is truly upended.
In his inimitably spare style, James Sallis conjures indelible characters and scenes that resonate long after they appear. "You live with someone year after year, you think you've heard all the stories," Lamar observes, "but you never have."