Sarah Jane (Hardcover)

By James Sallis

Soho Crime, 9781641290807, 216pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

List Price: 23.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A spare, sparkling tour de force about one woman's journey to becoming a cop, by master of noir James Sallis, author of Drive.

Sarah Jane Pullman is a good cop with a complicated past. From her small-town chicken-farming roots through her runaway adolescence, court-ordered Army stint, ill-advised marriage and years slinging scrambled eggs over greasy spoon griddles, Sarah Jane unfolds her life story, a parable about memory, atonement, and finding shape in chaos. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she is named the de facto sheriff of a rural town, investigating the mysterious disappearance of the sheriff whose shoes she’s filling—and the even more mysterious realities of the life he was hiding from his own colleagues and closest friends. This kaleidoscopic character study sparkles in every dark and bright detail—a virtuoso work by a master of both the noir and the tender aspects of human nature.

About the Author

James Sallis has published eighteen novels, including Drive, which was made into a now-iconic film, and the six-volume Lew Griffin series. He is a recipient of the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime fiction, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, the Deutsche Krimi Preis, and the Brigada 21 in Spain, as well as Bouchercon’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His biography of Chester Himes was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Praise For Sarah Jane

Praise for James Sallis

“A perfect piece of noir fiction . . . focus[ing] on those hollowed-out moments when a man’s moral landscape suddenly shifts and he’s plunged into darkness.”
The New York Times Book Review

“One stark and stunning tale of murder, treachery, and deceit.”
Boston Globe

“[Sallis] might just be one of our greatest living writers.”
USA Today   

“A taut page-turner . . . [and] a lovely piece of work that makes you wish some other writers would take lessons from [Sallis].”
—Washington Post
“One of the most enjoyable and most important writers working today, James Sallis has quietly revolutionized an entire genre of literature.”
—Sara Gran

“James Sallis is one of our greatest living crime writers . . . Try to get his words, his stories, his people out of your head. Just try.”
—Laura Lippman
“Speaking of Jim Sallis in the same tone as Poe and Dostoevsky is not overblowing on my part.”
—Harlan Ellison
“Sallis is a gifted writer and he doesn’t cram his story into this slim volume. Rather he distills it into a superbly potent brew that burns going down and explodes in the belly.”
—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine  

“James Sallis might be the 'purest' writer of crime fiction in America today . . . his books are worth reading solely for what rises from the inspired use of language.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“In addition to his masterly novels, Sallis is known for his work as a poet, and the lyrical beauty of his words shines through his pages. The story unfolds with the cadence of the down-home music that plays such an important part in the characters' lives, weaving stories from the past through the narrative of the present to create a harmonious melody. It's a crime that a writer this good isn't better known.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Sallis's treatment is minimalist, stylish, and all the more evocative for it. Essential noir existentialism.”
—The Guardian

“A story full of heart, imbued with a warmth of human spirit that most longer books could only dream of.”
—The Independent

“The power of simplicity and the musical ring of truth as only Sallis can deliver it—as he has done bravely, consistently, for the last few decades.”
The Los Angeles Times