The Killer Is Dying by James Sallis
A Novel

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A hired killer on his final job, a burned-out detective whose wife is dying slowly and in agony, a young boy abandoned by his parents and living alone by his wits. Three people, solitary and sundered from society.

In what is at one and the same time a coming-of-age novel, a realistic crime novel and a novel of the contemporary Southwest, The Killer Is Dying is above all the story of three men of vastly different age and background, and of the shape their lives take against the unforgiving sunlight and sprawl of America's fifth largest city, Phoenix.

The detective is looking for the killer, Christian, though he doesn't know that. Christian is trying to find the man who stepped in and took down his target before he had the chance. And the boy, Jimmie, is having the killer's dreams. While they never meet, through the course of the novel, all find community.

About James Sallis

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James Sallis has published fourteen novels, multiple collections of short stories, poems and essays, the definitive biography of Chester Himes, three books of musicology, and a translation of Raymond Queneau's novel Saint Glinglin. The film of Drive won Best Director award at Cannes; the six Lew Griffin books are in development. Jim plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and Dobro both solo and with the band Three-Legged Dog.
Published August 9, 2011 by Walker Books. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Education & Reference, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Killer Is Dying

Kirkus Reviews

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By the time Sayles, whose beloved wife Josie is dying, and his partner Graves, a newbie who’s so full of attitude that he spends a night in jail after running off his mouth to an impatient judge, get a line on the shooter, they’ve stumbled onto the trail of the killer they call Dollman because of...

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In this hallucinatory, almost visionary novel of suspense set in Phoenix, Sallis (Drive) focuses on three people of vastly different backgrounds and situations—Christian, a gun for hire, who's suffering from a mortal ailment;

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

We Love This Book

This is a fine example of literary crime fiction with an unusual plot and engaging characters which will hopefully bring Sallis the wider recognition which he deserves.

Sep 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

James Sallis is best known for his series featuring the character Lew Griffin, but he is also the author of several other novels as well as books of short stories, poetry, criticism, and musicology.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

Spinetingler Magazine

The first thing one perceives on reading the first pages of James Sallis’ new novel is the literal accuracy of the title: The man who calls himself Christian is a contract killer, a Vietnam vet now terminally ill, on his last job.

Feb 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

The Roanoke Times

it has too much crime and mystery content to attract the highbrow literary reader and not enough crime content to attract the average mystery reader.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

Spectator Book Club

Sallis has also published a number of stand-alone novels — including his latest, The Killer is Dying, which its British publisher has cannily brought out to coincide with the launch of Drive as a film.

Oct 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Killer Is Dying: A Novel

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