LA Observed contributor Deanne Stillman's latest book is a page turner. Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History takes off from the 2003 killing of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Stephen Sorensen, by a hermit named Donald Kueck, to peel back some of the mystery and secrets about life in the Mojave Desert north of us – where more and more people live, not all by by choice. The book grew out of an award-winning piece that Stillman wrote for Rolling Stone, and follows her earlier book from the desert, "Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave." She is also the author of "Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West."
Deanne reads from Desert Reckoning" and signs this afternoon at 5 p.m. at Skylight Books on Vermont. She has launched each of her books at Skylight. After this Stillman heads off on tour to Portland, Santa Fe and elsewhere, including in the Antelope Valley she writes about.
She talked about the book with Larry Mantle on "Airtalk" on KPCC this week. The book has also gotten some nice blurbs from LA authors.
"Deanne Stillman does for the 'lonely heart' of the desert behind Los Angeles what Raymond Chandler did for the shabby glamour of the city's garden suburbs. You can hear dreams being broken in every sentence of Desert Reckoning," writes DJ Waldie.
"Deanne Stillman is the Raymond Chandler of the New West, a hell of a writer who leaves no cacti unturned, no long-dried gulch unexamined, and no abandoned settlement left be in her latest gritty, implausible-yet-too-real story. The tale told in Desert Reckoning will quickly join the same vein of Western anti-hero epics such as Willie Boy and Tiburcio Vasquez," said Gustavo Arellano.