Title: Never Count Out the Dead
Publisher: St Martins, 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine in Plastic DJ Cover
Signed: Signed by the Author on the Title Page
Edition: First Edition, First Printing
Hard Cover. Fine/Fine in Plastic DJ Cover. First Edition, First Printing. Signed by the Author on the Title Page. Bookseller Inventory # 001845
Synopsis: Boston Teran's debut, God is a Bullet, a taut, dark, and astonishing literary suspense novel, was short-listed for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and won England's Crime Writers Association's John Creasey Memorial Dagger for Best First Novel.
Now, with Never Count Out the Dead, Teran exceeds the extraordinary achievement of his debut, delivering a tour de force tale of a murder gone wrong and a victim bent on revenge.
In a rundown Los Angeles bungalow, Shay Storey sits across a battered Formica table watching her mother clean the semi-automatic they will use for a killing. It is 1987 and Shay is just thirteen. Their intended victim is a local policeman named Victor Sully. Shay and her mother shoot him and bury him in a shallow grave in the desert northeast of Los Angeles, but somehow, some way, Sully claws his way to survival.
His life, though, is destroyed anyway, and he slips out of Los Angeles under cover of darkness, a broken man. It is more than ten years later that these three lost souls meet again to play out the inevitable drama set in motion by that first violent meeting in the desert, each searching for revenge, and perhaps, redemption.
Riveting, powerful, and brilliantly written, Never Count Out the Dead is an unforgettable reading experience that will linger in your brain long after the last page is turned.
Review: A policeman and a young girl drive across the Mojave Desert toward a deathly quiet valley where the girl's mother waits. In a wealthy Los Angeles enclave, another man waits for news of the policeman's death. Cop John Victor Sully is in the wrong place at the wrong time, ready to convict the right man of the right crime--and that, for crooked developer Burgess Ridden and his heroin-addict girlfriend Dee Storey, will never do. Burgess may not have the guts or the smarts to save himself from impending disaster, but Dee will do anything, including making her 13-year-old daughter, Shay, an accessory to murder: "Like face cards their images resemble, flat and stoic on that black gaming table of a windshield. Two queens, baby. One there, and one on the come. If she lives long enough."
But the best-laid plans are those that go hideously awry. Sully survives that night in the desert, clawing up through the dirt of a shallow grave, only to become "a boundary walker trapped inside the self of past." His reputation ruined by a clever frame-up, he will spend the next 10 years in self-imposed exile until a journalist named Landshark brings him back to L.A. to clear his name. His return touches off a deadly "blood waltz across reality" in which lives count for nothing and survival is everything--and in which his only ally is the young woman who led him to his death a decade earlier.
Boston Teran stunned critics with his debut novel, God Is a Bullet. Most raved about its explosive prose and in-your-face action, though a few felt that the author's style was a bit too much of a good thing. Teran is admittedly a writer for whom excess is glorious and for whom language is a wondrous, near-tangible commodity. His second novel, however, reveals a definite maturation: if God Is a Bullet reveled perhaps a bit too much in its own linguistic conceit, Never Count Out the Dead never allows the brilliance of its language to cast all else into shadow. Taut rather than bloated, the novel is as edgy as a hollow-eyed junkie and as extravagant as a drift of desert orchids. Teran retakes the stage with the assurance of an elegantly seasoned performer.--Kelly Flynn
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