Book Title: Lullaby Road by James Anderson
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 22 to Nov 2, 2018
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.
Praise for Lullaby Road:
“Atmospheric…Arresting desert vistas and distinctive characters leave a lasting impression.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Anderson’s lyrical prose brings a forgotten corner of the world to life, and the authentic narrative does the same for Jones. Recommended for fans of William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor and Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire.”
“…a delicious cast of colorful characters…Lullaby Road is a triumphant mix of landscape, character, wit and sagacity wrapped in a noir thriller.”
– Shelf Awareness
“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
To read more reviews, please visit James Anderson’s page on iRead Book Tours.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
I should have read the first book before I read Lullaby Road. There were references to what must have happened in the first book that made things confusing. There were also times when Ben stopped at places that I was just lost. I tried to muddle through to figure things out, but in the end, I remained lost.
I kept reading Lullaby Road because there were interesting parts. The setting of Route 117 was well described and I could feel the desolation. I drove a truck for a short time long ago and the author’s descriptions of driving down a long, lonely road brought back memories. The characters were also quite interesting. Based on their descriptions, I could see these quirky people who Ben stopped to see along the way.
I do like the author’s descriptions, I just feel like this book needs more of a definite plot. I think the child that was left with him may have originally been the focus of the book, but she got lost in the shuffle somewhere. I also wonder if the author has experience with children because I haven’t encountered any children who wouldn’t get antsy from sitting in a vehicle for so long.
If there’s another book in this series, I won’t read it until I’ve read the first book, and maybe the second one again. Perhaps Lullaby Road would make a lot more sense after reading The Never-Open Desert Diner.
Meet the Author
JAMES ANDERSON was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His first novel was The Never-Open Desert Diner. His short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines, including The Bloomsbury Review, New Letters, Solstice, Northwest Review, Southern Humanities Review, and others. He currently divides his time between Colorado and Oregon.
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