Never-Open Desert Diner

Never-Open Desert Diner

eBook - 2016
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A singularly compelling debut novel, about a desert where people go to escape their past, and a truck driver who finds himself at risk when he falls in love with a mysterious woman.

Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-travelled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert's inhabitants, Ben's visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn't opened in years.

Ben's routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she's fleeing something in her past--a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth--but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who've laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire's pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert's greatest mystery--what really happened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling, The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Crown Publishing Group, 2016
ISBN: 9781101906538
Characteristics: 1 online resource (304 pages)
Call Number: eBook

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Jan 15, 2018

Can the St Louis library please get this in a digital ebook format? Please

Sep 22, 2016

My Rating: 5/5

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The story was a bit slow at the beginning, making me wonder if I would find enjoyment in it, but as it started to unfolded I found myself unable to put it down. Once it drew me in, it completely engrossed me, keeping me up until the wee-hours of the morning in hopes of learning all the mysteries surrounding these unique characters.

“The Never-Open Desert Diner” opens with Ben Jones, a truck driver who delivers supplies to the forgotten souls of a deserted desert highway in Utah. Ben, the only man who dares to deliver to this part of forgotten America, drives this lone stretch of highway consisting of many different residents who have chosen to leave society for one reason or another. The reasons of why they left are a mystery, no one being brave enough to ask any questions. One day, while running his usual route, he meets Claire, a woman with a gun. He learns Claire is on the run after a heated divorce from her husband. The two quickly become entangled in a once in a lifetime love affair. When strange characters from Claire’s past start poking around the lone desert highway, Ben begins to wonder if Claire has been completely honest with him. Who is Claire? Why is her husband looking for her? How did she come to learn of the desert highway most have forgotten?

“The Never-Open Desert Diner” is a story of love, loss, and friendship; one that left me reflecting on the narrative and characters long after the final page. I found this story to be very unique in the setting, plot, and characters; making it both unpredictable and engaging. The character development and story-mapping were excellent, allowing the mystery to climatically unfold. If asked to compare this author to any I’ve read, I would say James Anderson’s refined style is similar to a John Irving. I would highly recommend “The Never-Open Desert Diner” to anyone who likes a great mystery intertwined with a love story. This debut novel by James Anderson has certainly found me as a new fan.

Apr 15, 2016

Loved the setting in the high desert with the quirky and believeable characters, great first novel with lots of atmosphere and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

ontherideau Feb 08, 2016

Lots of unexpected events, I had to keep reading to satisfy my curiosity.


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