Nobody Knows, Nobody Sees
A Novel of Appalachia


 

Nobody Knows, Nobody Sees may be obtained from your local bookstore, on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or you may order directly from the publisher.

ISBN 189323956X   $16.00 


Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356


Order here



You won't find stereotypes in Bob Sloan's writing. His books and stories are inhabited by multi-faceted characters struggling to deal with life as mountain tradition gives way to "progress."  For instance, Jesse Surratt, sheriff of Hawkes County, Kentucky, isn’t sure he wants to run for re-election. The state of his marriage is more important to him than politics and the law, but he’s determined to find out why his chief deputy allowed himself to go to prison for a murder he almost certainly didn’t commit. The key to the murder investigation is the mysterious Lorena, if only Jesse can locate her. . . . Then there’s the matter of an unidentified sniper shooting at Jesse’s car . . .


As this taut mystery unfolds, Bob Sloan’s clear, shapely prose hooks us, and we want to turn the pages. We believe in the people of Hawkes County, in their complex motives and unresolved struggles, just as we believe in the rugged, but tender, mountain culture in which they live. Nobody Knows, Nobody Sees is a compelling tale, wonderfully told.
       --- Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Some of the characters from Bob Sloan's first novel, Home Call, are
tangled in this Appalachian mystery novel that will keep you bumfuzzled
until Sloan adroitly pulls the clues together at the end.
       --- Loyal Jones


Excerpt from the book ---


David would have mocked Lorena’s nocturnal visits to the cemetery. He maintained a hostile cynicism about any form of life after death, never mind his notions a harsh God punished adultery so fiercely. "This is the only time we get," he told Lorena once, lying on the old sofa in her greenhouse.

Moving his skilled and knowing hands over her body, he added, "And this, what you and me do together, is the best part of the time we get."

Shuddering under the pressure of David’s probing fingers, losing herself in his strong arms and hungry mouth, Lorena had found it easy to agree about what comprised the best part of life.

      .  .  .

The first evening she visited David’s grave, Lorena gained a peaceful few hours of feeling close to and alone with him again. Her freesias — delicate, odorous flowering bushes seldom cultivated in modern gardens — had been in new bloom, filling the greenhouse with the sweet redolence David loved. She impulsively carried some of the flowers to him.

Whenever she wore similarly scented perfume he was entranced and aroused as a high school boy. The perfume had to be imported all the way from London, and Lorena was ashamed of the expense, but witnessing David’s delight was more than worth the cost of a tiny golden bottle.

Creating a floral arrangement for him — mature flowers set among tiny new leaves and freshly budded blossoms — eased the muffling fog of grief that was Lorena’s whole world since David’s death. When it was done she added a pair of tapered candles to her purse and drove to Caney Ridge, hiding her vehicle on an abandoned lane a quarter mile from the graveyard.

A path to the cemetery was familiar from illicit summer afternoon meetings in the woods, and she moved through the night confident, with no need for a flashlight. Pausing at a clearing where she and David had made love, Lorena wished she’d brought the blanket from her trunk. The evening air was chill, but it would have been pleasant to lie on mossy ground, wrapped in a thick quilt that still smelled of him, to lie there and remember.

David’s grave was still heaped with dying bouquets from the funeral. Lorena cleared a space and filled it with her flowers. Without thinking, she began talking to him, the way she imagined old Elmer Brent talked to his dead wife.

Lorena explained to David the forgotten tradition of freesias, how before roses became popular they were the flower of lovers. Lighting her candles, she recalled a night every pane in her greenhouse reflected dancing flames, and understood why she’d brought the tapers. She said she loved him still, spoke out loud how she missed him, and cried for a long time without realizing it.

She might have stayed until dawn, lost in grief and pain as hot and bright as the blazes topping her candles, but lights swept across the tombstones, interrupting Lorena’s vigil. A car stopped some distance from her, and half a dozen high school boys took a case of beer from the trunk. An over-amped radio and raucous laughter destroyed the tranquility of the Brent burying ground.

Busy dividing their cans of illicit alcohol, the boys didn’t notice when Lorena slipped just inside the treeline. Standing on the unlit path, she turned to watch the adolescents approach the grave, attracted by the burning candles. She was pleased to see them withdraw somberly back to their beer and radio, without disturbing anything.

Lorena went home to her sleeping son, but two nights later she went to the cemetery again. She built another arrangement of freesias—six white ones surrounding a single salmon colored blossom—and this time included a fresh pair of candles as an integral element of her creation. No giggling teenaged boys interrupted her: she waited until well after ten o’clock before leaving the house, ashamed of leaving her son alone and unwatched.

After that she went to the cemetery nearly every night, as soon as he was asleep. If she could persuade the elderly lady who lived across the street to stay late, Lorena paid double for the inconvenience. If not she went anyway, guilty but unable to stay home.

Her mind was nearly made up to leave Hawkes County. She meant to talk about her decision where David could hear, to listen in her heart to what he might say about it.

David would have thought she was crazy for believing her heart could hear him. But Lorena knew about being crazy. She’d lived for years in a faraway place with lots of crazy young women. She didn’t think she was like them, then or ever.

David was wrong.

Surely her heart could hear.