Safe in Heaven Dead
Safe in Heaven Dead, a first novel similar to last year's art house movie phenomenon, Memento, is a page–turning literary noir by a brilliant new writer.
Everything was rolling along smoothly for Robert Elgin. He and his wife, Laura, had a loving marriage, and had taken enough "me" time before having kids – one girl, one boy. After doing the hippie, idealistic thing for awhile, he finally allowed his father in law to get him a job in labour negotiations where he could still fuel his power to the people energies by fighting on the common man's behalf.
When Robert becomes too good at his job and is recruited by the County Executive's office to conspire in some dirty negotiations that would allow for a run at Governor, the perfect life begins to crumble. And to make matters much, much worse, Robert learns his five year–old daughter has been molested by the local 12 year–old neighbour, and the crumbling becomes a full–scale slide.
While his wife becomes obsessed with grief counsellors, rape specialists, being saved by Jesus, and putting the twelve year old behind bars, Robert finds himself losing touch with his family and losing his grip on reality. When he learns of a secret, dirty fund the labour office has been skimming off the public, he takes the money and runs. And so begins Robert's life as a dead man.
Told from the end to the beginning, this Memento–style literary noir about one man's undoing is a fresh new style of fiction. Safe in Heaven Dead is a stunning book by a new voice in contemporary literature.
Praise For Safe in Heaven Dead: A Novel…
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Harper Perennial, 9780060099114, 256pp.
Publication Date: March 30, 2004
About the Author
Samuel Ligon's stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Story Quarterly, Manoa, Other Voices, and the Cimarron Review. He lives with his wife and two children in Madison, Wisconsin.