James Anderson, The Never-Open Desert Diner. (Caravel Mystery Books, 2014).

Ben Jones, the protagonist of James Anderson’s haunting debut novel, is on the verge of losing his small trucking company. A single, thirty-eight-year-old truck driver, Ben’s route takes him back and forth across one of the most desolate and beautiful regions of the Utah desert. The orphan son of a Native American father and a Jewish social worker, Ben is drawn into a love affair with a mysterious woman, Claire, who plays a cello in the model home of an abandoned housing development in the desert. Her appearance, seemingly out of nowhere, reignites a decades-old tragedy at a roadside café referred to by the locals as The Never-Open Desert Diner.

“High, dry and severely beautiful — that’s the terrain Ben Jones sees from the cab of his 28-foot tractor-trailer rig in The Never-Open Desert Diner —a wondrously strange first novel by James Anderson.” —The New York Times

“Like a flash flood, once the action begins it’s nonstop. Readers…will want to join the ride.”
Library Journal, Patricia Ann Owens

“Part love story, part mystery, part meditation on place …will certainly keep readers turning the pages.” — Roland Merullo, Author of Breakfast With Buddha