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“American Graveyards” by Ray Nayler

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The Mojave is a graveyard. It lies between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and through it runs a road where, in the middle of desert nights, all of the human predators in those two cities come to dump their prey. The desert is a burying ground for nuclear waste, for garbage and slag from the silver and gold mines, for abandoned cars and for abandoned people. Outcasts huddle in shacks far out in the night, away from prying eyes. In makeshift labs they mix methamphetamine and speed. Everything discarded, everything killed or broken or unwanted, it seems, ends up here. Sometimes, people find things. A hiker stumbles across a skull, a rusted six-shooter, a dead cowboy who took shade under a Joshua tree a hundred years ago and never stood up again. The police dig up a body and find two more beneath it. Most of the time, though, things stay buried…

Lance Bailey, PI, is on his last case and his last legs. The murderer he has been hunting all his life is just one step ahead of him. But before he can exact his revenge, he must unravel a nasty web of conspiracy and murder in the Mojave desert. Haunted by an enigmatic nightmare and slowed down by age, Lance finds himself struggling to keep up with a world that is growing more and more fragmented and deadly with each passing moment.

The novel is available in one format:

  • Large format paperback original of 130 pages

 

Praise for American Graveyards:

"Dark, dangerous and intoxicating, Ray Nayler's fiction is a potent elixir that will slam your senses. It'll leave you shaken and stirred, with cool characters on ice, and a plot served up with a twist. Ready for a heady shot and a slow burn?" Blue Murder

"Claws its way into your mind and won't leave. Ray Nayler writes like Jim Thompson on crack, only his prose is twenty times better" Plots With Guns

"Such an engrossing and convincing read. Whilst, in your average B movie, cardboard cut-out actors hash out stale dialogue in front of wobbling sets, here the snappy prose brings these people to life. Even if Nayler is dealing with an established milieu, he never resorts to stale cliché. The writing remains razor sharp all the way through. Yes, it is a little derivative, but it’s always spiky, great fun in a dark and intoxicating way, and also (whisper it) kinda cool" Write Words

 

Author Interview:

Ray Nayler was interviewed at the time of publication by David Soyka for Fantastic Metropolis. On the same site you can Ray's short story 'Catch', originally published in Crimewave 7: The Last Sunset.

Item image: Ray Nayler

Author: Ray Nayler

Ray Nayler was born in Quebec and educated in California, where he studied American literature and film noir. His short fiction has been published in Crimewave, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Heist and Blue Murder, among others.

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