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"Sunset and Sawdust" by Joe R Lansdale

1 rating: 4.0

It begins with an explosion: Sunset Jones kills her husband with a bullet to the brain. Never mind that he was raping her. Pete Jones was the constable of the small sawmill town of Camp Rapture ("Camp Rupture" to the local blacks), where no … see full wiki

Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Knopf
Date Published: 03-16-2004
1 review about "Sunset and Sawdust" by Joe R Lansdale

"If I can put a touch of ...sunset into the life of any man or woman, I feel ...I've worked with God

  • Aug 31, 2010

It's the depression era in East Texas. The Klu Klux Klan is active and many Texas men feel that if they smack around their wives, they won't have to answer for it.

Constable Pete Jones comes home drunk and beats his wife, Sunset, and is then raping her when she reaches for his revolver and kills him.

Since the sawmill town of Camp Rapture, Texas, is now without a law enforcement officer, at a camp meeting, Sunset is appointed the new constable on a trial basis. She will be assisted by Clyde Fox and a new man in town who goes by the name of Hillbilly.

A baby's body is found on the land of the only black farmer in town. Then a woman's body is found. She had been shot and covered with oil.

Sunset tries to learn the functions of her job. She investigates and finds out who the woman was, this adds other difficulties. As this is happening, she is dealing with issues with her precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Karen, and the relationship with her mother-in-law, Marilyn Jones.

As I read the story, the descriptions were very picturesque and I felt that I could see the action taking place on the Texas streets before me.

The story was so realistic that I felt drawn to the difficulty of life at that time, the lawlessness, and the courageousness of Sunset and Marilyn Jones.

The author's message seemed to be that doing the right thing will be best in the long run but it may come at a cost.

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