The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson


Ben drives a truck over route 117, the people that live there are different and it’s his calling to deliver the stuff that they feel they need because no one else will. A couple of odd brothers who live in some abandoned box cars and request barb wire and cases of hormel chili. A guy that carries an actual cross before he delivers his desert sermons and Walt who owns the Desert Diner. That hasn’t opened since 1987. Ben is about to lose his home and his truck lease though because he is dead broke. He just doesn’t know what to do with himself without the route.

He is on his delivery schedule one day when he stops to pee and spots a woman playing a cello. (He is looking in the window)
Palm Springs commercial photography

He is entranced by her and keeps coming out to the house that she has sneaked into to see her.

He then realizes some weird stuff is going on around him. Like the female mountain biker that he stopped to help that acted oddly. Like the guy that is a producer wanting to do a ride along with him for a trucking reality show. Ben knows he isn’t reality star material. He grew up as an orphan who might be half Jewish-half Native American. Could it be his new woman friend is the clue behind all the people poking around in the desert? well duh….

Then you have the reclusive asshole that owns the Never Open Desert Diner, who lost his wife to horrific circumstances long before he actually lost her. How is he tied in with all this?

So how was this book? It’s quirky and different and honestly I think the whole mystery thing wasn’t even needed. The author could have kept my attention solely with these characters and his stories of the area in the desert that this book was set in.
Palm Springs commercial photography

The old saying about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is a nice sentiment, but it isn’t true, not on 117. Out in the desert what doesn’t kill you just pisses you off and will probably kill you the next time.

Booksource: blogging for books in exchange for review.

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