An Edgar Award winner blends Mark Twain's humor and Stephen King's suspense in this darkly compelling novel of three friends determined to take their friend's ashes to Hollywood.
May Lynn was once a pretty girl who dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she's dead, her body dredged up from the Sabine River.
Sue Ellen, May Lynn's strong-willed teenage friend, sets out to dig up May Lynn's body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes to Hollywood to spread around. If May Lynn can't become a star, then at least her ashes will end up in the land of her dreams.
Along with her friends Terry and Jinx and her alcoholic mother, Sue Ellen steals a raft and heads downriver to carry May Lynn's remains to Hollywood.
Only problem is, Sue Ellen has some stolen money that her enemies will do anything to get back. And what looks like a prime opportunity to escape from a worthless life will instead lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, Sue Ellen will learn a harsh lesson on just how hard growing up can really be.
Edgar-winner Lansdale (Devil Red) channels Mark Twain in this chillingly atmospheric stand-alone set in Depression-era East Texas. When 16-year-old Sue Ellen Wilson finds the body of her friend May Lynn Baxter in the Sabine River, weighed down by a sewing machine, she s appalled that May Lynn s father, a known hot-head and knife fighter, and uncle would rather ignore the crime than report it. Sue Ellen and her two best friends, Terry Thomas, whom everyone thinks is a sissy, and Jinx Smith, a feisty colored girl, soon hatch an elaborate plan: burn May Lynn s body and take her ashes to California, since May Lynn dreamed of Hollywood. When the trio discover money squirreled away by May Lynn s dead bank robber brother, they decide to take it with them on a raft down the Sabine en route to California. Soon they must contend with more than just the current. Lansdale s perfect ear for regional dialogue and ability to create palpable suspense lift this above the pack.