Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

The Never-Open Desert Diner is not quite your usual crime fiction book. We follow Ben, a private trucker, who mainly delivers on one route, the 117, which is not your usual road. Almost nobody drives through that road and only the regulars feel like it's safe to take it. Ben knows everybody on that road and we learn to know about the people living near that road along his deliveries. He knows everybody... but one woman. She plays cello, is quite beautiful, free and wild and Ben falls for her. But then strange things happen, new people take the 117 and their intentions are quite unclear.

What's good about that book has a lot to do with the atmosphere, It's strange, quite oppressive, dangerous, captivating and we're never sure what will happen. It reminds me of small town where everybody knows everybody's secrets but nobody talks about them. Except here, secrets a far more explosive! The characters are well done, they're all very different, from the two brothers who live like shut off, Walt the diner's owner or John and his cross. Each of them has a story, a background that we fully know.

So that book is not juste a plot (even if it was good : what will happen with the strange people coming, what do they want?) but a lot of characters, each one intriguing or interesting or sweet or just plainly appalling! And that road! It feels like a character by itself, what with the desert mood it gives.

In a nutshell, not a book for readers who like a solid plot but a captivating book for readers who prefer characters and an atmosphere à la Bagdad Café (or Out of Rosenheimover action.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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