The small town where Turner moved is one of America's lost places, halfway between Memphis and forever. That makes it a perfect hide-away: A place where you can bury the past and escape the pain of human contact, where you are left alone unless you want company, where conversation happens only when there's something to say, where you can sit and watch an owl fly silently across the face of the moon. And where Turner hoped to forget that he was a cop, a psychotherapist, and always an ex-con.
There was no major crime to speak of until Sheriff Lonnie Bates arrived on Turner's porch with a bottle of Wild Turkey and a problem: The body of a drifter has been found—brutally and ritualistically murdered—and Bates and his deputy need help from someone with big-city experience who appreciates the delicacy of investigating people in a small town. Thrust back into the middle of what he left behind, Turner slowly becomes reacquainted not only with the darkness he had fled, but with the unsuspected kindness of others.
Brilliantly balancing Turner's past and present lives,Cypress Grove is lyrical, moving, and filled with the sense of place and character that only our finest writers can achieve. It is proof positive that the acclaim James Sallis has enjoyed for years is richly deserved.
Sublime, soulful, and essential
- Mike Stafford, Bookgeeks
If Camus wrote pulp, he'd read like Sallis
- Andrew Donaldson, Times South Africa
Sallis is a fastidious man, intelligent and widely read. There's nothing slapdash or merely strategic about his work ... peculiar and visionary.
- Iain Sinclair, London Review of Books
James Sallis is a superb writer
- The Times
Sallis's deceptively easy style disguises the skill with which he has produced a satisfyingly complete portrait of a man's life.
- Susannah Yager, The Telegraph [read the full review]
features another complex protagonist and a story brimming with Southern atmosphere
- Paula Woods, Los Angeles Times [read the full review]
Sallis is back in the mystery game with "Cypress Grove," which features another complex protagonist and a story brimming with Southern atmosphere... related in gems of short, evocative prose. Although welcome news to Sallis' coterie of loyalists, "Cypress Grove" should attract an even broader audience for the author's visually tantalizing, astute observations on crime and the human condition.
Paula Woods, Los Angeles Times
This compelling book is beautifully written. It flows naturally off the pages like a lazy Southern river on a hot, steamy summer's night ... Its style, story-telling, psychological elements, are all masterful... a book to be savoured.
- Nigel Tappin, Mystery Review
As Turner's memories are unlocked, so are his feelings — and his language... Although he went out to find a killer, Turner earns his redemption by finding his own lost voice.
- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times [read the full review]
Sallis, a poet in private eye's clothing, has found in Turner a rich new character to hang around with. Let's hope this isn't the last we see of him.
- The Boston Globe