Lullaby Road Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to read and review Lullaby Road, a suspense thriller from author James Anderson.  Mystery/suspense novels are truly some of my favorites--so, what did I think of Lullaby Road?  I am sharing my review of the novel below and I also have a giveaway for readers at the end of this post!

Book Cover for suspense novel Lullaby Road by James Anderson .

Book Title: Lullaby Road by James Anderson
Category: Adult Fiction, 305 pages
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author or publisher.  
All opinions are my own.

Book Description

Winter has come to Route 117, a remote road through the high desert of Utah trafficked only by those looking to escape the world and those the world has rejected. Local truck driver Jones, still in mourning over the devastating murder of his lover Claire, is trying to get through another season of his job navigating treacherous roads and sudden snowfall without accident when a mute Hispanic child is placed in Jones’s path at a seedy truck stop along his route bearing a note that simply reads “Please, Ben. Bad trouble. My son. Take him today. His name is Juan. Trust you only. Tell no one. Pedro.” From that moment forward, nothing will ever be the same. Not for Ben. Not for the child. And not for anyone along the seemingly empty stretch of road known as Route 117.

Despite deep misgivings, and without any hint of who the child is or the grave danger he’s facing, Jones takes the child with him and sets out into a landscape that is as dangerous as it is beautiful and silent. With the help of his eccentric neighbors—Phyllis, who turned up one day in her Rolls-Royce with two children in tow and the FBI on her tail; Andy, a Utah State Trooper who is on or off duty depending on if his hat is on or off his head; and Roy, an ex–coal miner who has lived in Rockmuse, off Highway 117, his whole life and survives on odd jobs and the kindness of his neighbors—Jones uncovers buried secrets of the desert that are far more painful than he could have imagined.

In LULLABY ROAD, readers will find themselves enthralled by Anderson’s vivid sense of place and his beautiful and heartbreaking narrative.

Praise for Lullaby Road:

Atmospheric…Arresting desert vistas and distinctive characters leave a lasting impression.”
- Publishers Weekly

Anderson’s lyrical prose brings a forgotten corner of the world to life, and the authentic narrative does the same for Jones. Recommended for fans of William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor and Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire.”
- BookList

…a delicious cast of colorful characters…Lullaby Road is a triumphant mix of landscape, character, wit and sagacity wrapped in a noir thriller.
- Shelf Awareness

"The action is nonstop, and the plot twists are heart-pounding. Anderson’s vivid prose gives a sense of vastness that is the desert he so brilliantly describes – it is an amazing use of language to create a mood and feeling…Fans of Anderson’s first installment of this series will devour this book and long for another visit with the residents along Route 117.
- Library Journal Starred Review

My Review

Anderson's writing style creates vivid scenes with memorable characters and an air of mystery.  I have never personally visited Price, Utah--or anywhere near Highway 117--but, the author took me there.  There was never a point in this novel where I could not visualize the setting and the characters.  The chapters are short, but the descriptive text pulls readers into every scene with ease.  In spite of the descriptive text, there was always a feeling of the unknown lingering through each chapter as well.  From vague references to the past and missing puzzle pieces dotting the pages--the suspense lurks through to the end (and even a little beyond). 

Mysteries, suspense and twists and turns keep readers interested in Lullaby Road.   While readers are never sure exactly what Ben will encounter next, they will find a full storyline that flows and builds well as it progresses.  I read this novel without realizing that the author's The Never-Open Desert Diner was a prequel.  Some of the mysterious, vague past references and points that kept me questioning--and a little "out of the loop" at times--may have been answered had I read the prequel first.  While I was a bit confused at times, I enjoyed the characters and the scenes and liked the mysterious edge surrounding the novel.

Would I recommend Lullaby Road by James Anderson?  If you like a mystery/suspense novel that doesn't really give you all of the breadcrumbs you need (even as the book's plot resolves)--but, offers strong characters and well-done settings and scenes that pull you into the story--this novel should be on your reading list.  I would probably recommend reading The Never-Open Desert Diner first.  I did feel that there would have been more depth to many of the references had I not read Lullaby Road as a stand-alone novel.  I loved the author's setting and character development and the ease with which he brought me into the book.  I would recommend this novel to suspense fans--but, I would recommend reading it as a series. 

To read more reviews, please visit James Anderson's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author

JAMES ANDERSON was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His first novel was The Never-Open Desert Diner. His short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines, including The Bloomsbury Review, New Letters, Solstice, Northwest Review, Southern Humanities Review, and others. He currently divides his time between Colorado and Oregon.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Ends Nov 10, 2018

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