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Salt River (Turner #3)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  202 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The poignant and surprising new thriller by one of America's most acclaimed writers.
Few American writers create more memorable landscapes-both natural and interior-than James Sallis. His highly praised Lew Griffin novels evoked classic New Orleans and the convoluted inner space of his black private detective. More recently-in "Cypress Grove" and "Cripple Creek"-he has con...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Walker Books Ltd (first published December 26th 2007)
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Carol
Another great story by James Sallis..This was the third book in the John Turner series...Two years have passed since Turner lost his love Val Bjorn..His good friend Eldon has returned and he thinks he may have killed someone. ...I like the way Sallis tells a story..Val said "Sometimes you have to see how much music you can make with what you have left."
Rob Kitchin
Salt River is the third book in the Turner trilogy, which ideally need to be read in sequence. At 160 pages it’s more of a novella than novel, but is, I feel, the strongest of the trilogy, in part because the plot is more central than the earlier books, which seemed to concentrate more on the telling of the story rather than the story itself. Sallis is a poet and it shows in the strength of his prose, which is evocative and haunting, dotted with acute observations and philosophical asides. The c...more
Mary
This is the third book in the Turner series, only thing wrong is I did not want it to end. Love the poetic way he writes, it is all so very real. In this book, Billy, Lonnie.s son comes barreling into town, and the mystery begins. Eldon appears one day and mentions he may have killed someone, and Doc continues to bend Turner's ear as they sit on the porch. Hope ther is a Turner number four.
Jim
A very quick read, basically a novella in the series. Mystery readers might not be enthralled cause there really isn't much detecting going on, more so continued character development; less backstory than previous books. In some ways this felt sparse, not much meat to chew on.
Joyce Lagow
Last book in the Turner trilogy.

Two years later, Turner is acting sheriff, by default. Two people re-enter the town: Billy, Lonnie Bates younger son who makes his reappearance by by means of his car crashing into a building, and Eldon, back from his tour of country music festivals, a suspect in a murder that he himself doesn’t know if he’s committed.

As usual, from such mundane sorts of beginnings, Sallis goes on to weave an enchantment over this small, always unnamed town and the people in it. H...more
DR
The job of sheriff is probably the hardest to fill of all in the tiny rural community where ex-cop, convicted felon and former therapist Turner makes his home. At the start of SALT RIVER, he has reluctantly assumed the role that’s he’s assiduously been avoiding since the first novel in this outstanding trilogy. He’s serving as sheriff when trouble (again) comes to town--this time in the form of an out-of-control car driven by the former sheriff’s troubled son, Billy, who crashes it smack into th...more
Debbi Mack
SALT RIVER finds its ex-cop/ex-con/ex-therapist protagonist John Turner serving as de facto sheriff of the small town outside Memphis that he's come to think of as home (the actual sheriff, Lonnie Bates having, for all intents and purposes, retired). The town, however, has succumbed to the ravages of time and decay. Like so many other people and things in Turner's life, the place is dying.

An auto accident involving Bates' wayward son is the inciting event for this story, which (as with the previ...more
Steve
The third in a trilogy and short enough to qualify as a novella or long short story, we re-join Turner’s life two years after Cripple Creek. Its opening gives a good view of where things lie and where they’ll go: “Sometimes you just have to see how much music you can make with what you have left.” Sallis’ writing and Turner’s character are both thoughtful and meaningful. After Turner sought peaceful retirement in a small southern town, he was brought back to policing duty in the previous books....more
Tim Niland
Sallis' latest crime novel is a meditative study of loss and pain. Ex-con, ex-therapist John Turner is now sheriff in a small rural Tennessee town, dealing with his own demons like his lost love while trying to solve the crimes around him. His friend is on the run for a murder he didn't commit, while the previous sheriff's son lies incapacitated in the hospital after an accident in a stolen car. All of this is really incidental to Sallis's ruminations through his characters. Life, death and love...more
Tom V
Turner returns, a few years after the death (by assassination) of his lover, Val, and we learn, tangentially, that her murder has been avenged...or at least so it seems. One by one, other people return to the town, some physically, some just in spirit.

For a small Delta town, Sheriff Turner's burg is by turns whimsical and murderous, crusty and kind, earnest and cynical, and the mystery (such as it is) at the center of the story is a small sliver of light in the storms raging overhead.

Turner is t...more
Tony
SALT RIVER. (2007). James Sallis. ***.
This is a terrific book, but it really can’t be read as a stand-alone novel. Too much of the background of the characters depends on earlier events that occurred in “Cripple Creek,” and “Cypress Grove.” By the time you could figure out what was going on in this book, you would have reached the end. The idea of an on-going character is not new, but Sallis uses an on-going town, peopled by repeating characters whose prior actions truly govern their current act...more
Shonna Froebel
This lovely piece of fiction reads like poetry to me. So much is intimated at rather than spoken and yet is understood. The genre label on the back says this is mystery, but I would not describe it as such. There are some things that happen that the main character, Turner, feels are linked, and he is able to show how by the end, but that never seems to be the main focus of the book. I loved the nature that pervades the book and yet it was definitely not a gentle presence here. There is much loss...more
writegeist
Sorry to say, folks, but all the great stuff, all the stuff worth reading, deals with death, as do we all. But in dealing with death, we must also celebrate life. This is the final book in Sallis' John Turner trilogy. Turner has now become the sheriff of his small town in Tennessee, having previously been a cop, a therapist, and a convict. It's important to read Cyprus Grove and Cripple Creek first or the impact of this short novel will be lost. Plot summaries are superfluous for a book like thi...more
Ellen Keim
This is the third novel about John Turner (after Cypress Grove and Cripple Creek). I'd advise you not read it without reading the first two--and you can't skip number one to make any real sense out of the others. I didn't like this one as well as the others. It seemed kind of dashed off and the ending was kind of abrupt. But Sallis' writing is still lyrical and his characters philosophical.
Nick
Salt River is the third novel in a series of lyrical crime novels by James Sallis. The first two are Cypress Grove and Cripple Creek. His prose is beautiful and his characters wonderful. The world of these novels is one of unremitting violence. Good people get hurt or killed all the time, although those same people are able to find one another and some comfort in music and one another. Read all three but space them out a bit and read something optimistic after each Sallis novel.
Liam Berry
I'm not sure if I just need to allow this book to settle a bit more but compared to the first two novels in the Turner Trilogy it just doesn't cut it. I understand that it's probably been written as a meditation on the idea of ageing towards death and that the lack of much happening in the novel is a purposeful statement from the author but I think Sallis has let Turner go out with a wimper with Salt River and I'm pretty disapointed with the outcome.
Chris
I've read Sallis' bio on Chester Himes and had been impressed. But I was not ready for the beautiful bits of wisdom that appear on just about every page.

The story line didn't really hold together for me -- i felt like i was being tossed characters and had to hold onto them without understanding enough about them.

Yet the beauty of the book is overwhelming. I just wanted to start over again the minute I turned the last page.
Mysteryfan
He wrote Drive. This is another little gem. Sallis is the perfect exemplar of "show, don't tell." The protagonist is revealed in small bits and pieces as part of the narrative, as is the rest of the town. A wonderful read. He quoted a Harlan Ellison story near the end that I recognized, about a man that had a peak experience early and the consequences of that.
Robin
A slight novel in which John Turner, ex-con turned deputy sheriff, deals with ghosts from his past. Sallis is always a great read, and even a short novel such as this one is rich with digressions and observations about loss and growing older. The characters are always a joy to spend time with, too.
John Kues
A quick satisfying read, another in his Turner series. Sometimes I am a little lost in his dialog but usually find my way. His characters are likable and the storyline is believable. He jumps around in time, and you have to wait go with the flow and it eventually makes sense.
Rachel Nowakowski
All the plaudits and great reviews that I read in the front of this book are true. This is one pared down, thoughtful and evocative writer. He can say so much with so few words, but he imbues them with so much feeling and power. I am eager to read his other books.
Erin
This book was somewhat of a disappointment. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. This one lacked something I haven't been able to put my finger on. It's a really short read though, 147 pages. Still worth it to finish the series.
Peg
Not nearly as satisfying as the first 2. This last and final entry into the trilogy almost seems as though his publisher pushed him for a conclusion.

That being said, he writes well with just a hint (just a hint mind you) of the style of James Lee Burke.
Carol
Thought this was about our Salt River but no it was one near Memphis. Strange story set in a small town full of dark secrets. Not my kind of mystery thoug some of the characters were interesting.
stan
Sallis is an unsung genius of crime writing he creates vivid images in very few words and his taut, pared down prose is distinctive and powerful
nick
Turner is kind of the emo Parker. First book is the best. This one, the last, is the second best. (Middle one kind of goes off the rails.)
Robert
I thought this was the weakest of the series. It seemed that the main character, as well as the author, were just drifting.
Frank Byrns

The Turner series is phenomenal in ways I can't find ways to explain.

I wish there were more to read...
Harry
Trist, brutal und in Ansätzen dennoch hoffnungsvoll. Großartiger Abschluss der glänzenden Turner-Trilogie.
Janet
Written very poetically--to the point where sometimes it was extremely hard to figure out what was happening.
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James Sallis (born 21 December 1944 in Helena, Arkansas) is an American crime writer, poet and musician, best known for his series of novels featuring the character Lew Griffin and set in New Orleans, and for his 2005 novel Drive, which was adapted into a 2011 film of the same name.
More about James Sallis...
Drive (Drive, #1) Driven (Drive, #2) The Long-Legged Fly (Lew Griffin, #1) Cypress Grove (Turner, #1) The Killer Is Dying

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