Tuesday Intro: The Never-Open Desert Diner

imageThis week, I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. I really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

Today, I am going for a bit of a change of pace (I think), with The Never-Open Desert Diner, a review copy on Blogging for Books that caught my eye. Here’s what it’s about…


Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-traveled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert’s inhabitants, Ben’s visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years.

Ben’s routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she’s fleeing something in her past — a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth — but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who’ve laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire’s pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery — what really happened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

And here’s how it starts…

A red sun was balanced on the horizon when I arrived at The Well-Known Desert Diner. Sunrise shadows were draped around its corners. A full white moon was still visible in the dawn sky. I parked my tractor-trailer rig along the outer perimeter of the gravel parking lot. The “Closed” sign hung on the front door. To the left of the door, as if in mourning for Superman, stood a black metal and glass phone booth. Inside was a real phone with a rotary dial that clicked out the ten white numbers. Unlike the phones in the movies, this one worked—if you had enough nickels.

What do you think, would you keep reading?


  1. I’m not quite sure about this one but there is definitely enough to make me wonder what happens next as I do like the tone.

    1. I kind of like that I don’t know where it’s going yet. I hope it’s in a good direction!

  2. I’d need to read a bit more to be sure, but I curious.

    1. That’s what I need to do now – I got no reading done yesterday!

  3. I love the descriptions…I can visualize it all, and it seems so creepy/good. Thanks for sharing. Here’s mine: “BREAKDOWN”

    1. Me too. It’s took me straight there.

  4. I’d keep reading from this intro, but I just read a review at Novel Meals that made me think I wouldn’t like it much.

    1. Oh no…I am going to avoid all reviews till I’m done.

    1. I think the desert is though isn’t it. I remember a road trip years ago with ghost towns. That’s how I picture this.

      1. it sure is. and some of our empty malls right now do look like that

  5. Based on just the opening paragraph, I’d keep reading. It shows good thinking such as “if in mourning for superman . . .” I like it. Hope you do too.

    1. It does read really well doesn’t it. I hope it’s good!

  6. This sounds like it will be interesting and intense. The desert setting appeals to me. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. You know I don’t know if I’ve read a book set in a desert – I must have but I can’t bring any to mind.

  7. This one is on my TBR list, I’d read more. I do hope you enjoy it Emma.

    1. Me too – it sounds good!

  8. I’ve read about this one on one of the most anticipated lists so I am curious. I’d have to keep reading.

    1. I am so rubbish with knowing what is coming out as I hadn’t heard of it but a quick google made me think it was one to read.

  9. WOW. Such GREAT descriptions! Very vivid and easy to see in one’s mind! The plot is very quirky, unusual….just the type I love to encounter by surprise! And the fact that there’s romance in the middle of all this makes it even more compelling! I NEED to read this one!! I’m adding it to my Goodreads shelves right away!! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    1. All reasons it caught my eye. I am hoping it will be a little bit different from my usual fare.

  10. […] wise, I finished The Never-Open Desert Diner from Tuesday’s Intro post and was lucky enough to get sent Missing, Presumed by Susie […]

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