Sirk TV Book Review: RIVER OF SALT [Freemantle]

The aspect of noir is making it feel connective. Usually the progression involves an anti-hero depending on the trajectory of his redemption. Trying to make this meld as an after thought; of a person searching for some sort of epilogue is usually where the story ends. That is why Blake Saunders in “River Of Salt” [David Warner/Freemantle/256pgs] is refreshing in a way. In escaping the wise guy elements of Philly and basically betraying his brother enough to get him killed, Saunders ends up on the coast of Australia running a bar and playing surf music. While this doesn’t sound like the best of set ups, there is always darkness in small communities and the true nature of human behavior reflects there as well. Between shakedowns on a regional level, hookers ending up dead in hotels, marital trysts that go wrong, young love that goes off the rails and other shenanigans, the situations in this novel come off more than a little bit in the vein of a soap opera but maybe one closer to “Riverdale” with its sparks. Doreen, as the foil to Blake, is both strong and vulnerable with a second life permeating that gives her even more texture than Blake. Even Nalder, the cop, always looking out for himself, is well built in terms of dimensions. Everyone has flaws. In this story everybody makes wrong decisions at a certain point but that makes the texture richer, even if it seems to connect and clean up a little too nicely. That said, both the internal and external struggles that permeate “River Of Salt” have their own strengths.


By Tim Wassberg

Posted on April 4, 2019, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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