Sunset and Sawdust
By Joe R. Lansdale
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375719226, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 4, 2005
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In the middle of a cyclone, beautiful, red-haired Sunset Jones shoots her husband Pete dead when he tries to beat and rape her. To Camp Rapture’s general consternation, Sunset’s mother-in-law arranges for her to take over from Pete as town constable. As if that weren’t hard enough to swallow in depression era east Texas, Sunset actually takes the job seriously, and her investigation into a brutal double murder pulls her into a maelstrom of greed, corruption, and unspeakable malice. It is a case that will require a well of inner strength she never knew she had. Spirited and electrifying, Sunset and Sawdust is a mystery and a tale like nothing you’ve read before.
Joe R. Lansdale has written more than a dozen novels in the suspense, horror, and Western genres. He has also edited several anthologies. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, six Bram Stoker Awards, and the 2001 Edgar Award for best novel from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with his family.
“[Sunset and Sawdust is] filled with turns and twists, nastiness, broad humor, moments of grace. . . . Lansdale is a storyteller in the great American tradition.” –The Boston Globe
“A wonderfully nasty piece of work [that] inspires I-can’t-believe-this laughter. . . . Very entertaining.” –Newsday
The opening . . . will grab unsuspecting readers by the lapels and pull them right in. . . . Lansdale's prose--laconic and sarcastic--is so thick with slang and regional accent that it's as tasty as a well-cured piece of beef jerky." --The Denver Post
"Lansdale is an exceptional storyteller . . . readers will feel the Texas heat and hear the story in the author's unique East Texas drawl. The vivid characterization will make readers cheer for the protagonist and boo the villain." --Rocky Mountain News
“Delivers the unexpected and bizarre that his fans have come to expect. . . . The narrative is entertaining, but Lansdale’s patently unvarnished storytelling–backwoods and brash all at once–is the real reason to crack this cover.” --Texas Monthly
"Funny, bloody and bizarre. . . . Another five-star doozy of a tale from an immensely talented and original storyteller." --The Flint Journal
“Sunset Jones is the kind of woman that men who drink in East Texas bars would call a ‘pistol.’ As a tornado rips through the sawmill camp town of Rapture, in the rousing opening scene of Joe R. Lansdale’s historical barnburner Sunset and Sawdust, Sunset finally puts a stop to her husband Pete’s bloody beatings. . . . Soon Sunset has her own posse, including a wonderful dog whose abject adoration of the fiery gunslinger pretty much sums up this reader’s feelings.” --The New York Times Book Review
"A first-rate whodunnit. . . . [Lansdale] knows how to tell a story." --The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Sly, easy-paced and so comfortable in its setting that it becomes almost seductive. This is what good storytelling is all about.” --Arizona Republic
"Lansdale can catch that meandering East Texas twang in his writing, but just as quickly he can tighten the plot and our stomachs with a turn of phrase. . . . Lansdale gives us both atmosphere and action." --Winston-Salem Journal
"Surrealistic. . . . Unpredictable. . . . A darker kind of storytelling." --Pittsburg Tribune-Review