It's Texas, sometime during the Depression. One day a girl named Sue Ellen and her friend Terry are poisoning fish with Sue Ellen's father, and they find the body of May Lynn, a young woman who had hoped to go to Hollywood and become a movie star. After May Lynn is buried, Sue Ellen, Terry, and a third friend, Jinx, dig up the body and burn it. Their plan is to take the ashes to Hollywood.
This isn't exactly the most rational plan in the world, but it gets even less so. They live in Texas. To get to Hollywood, they're going to steal a some money, build a raft, and float down the Sabine River. They realize the river doesn't go to Hollywood, but "'We'll get there somehow.'"
Naturally it's not an easy trip. The three friends are joined by Sue Ellen's mother, and they're being chased by Sue Ellen's murderous uncle, a constable who's not a good representative of law and order, and a mysterious, almost supernatural, hired killer named Skunk.
You'll probably read some reviews that will compare this book to something by Mr. Mark Twain. Okay, there's the river and the raft and some other superficial stuff, but don't let that fool you. Joe Lansdale's not Mark Twain. He's his own man. Twain couldn't have written this book. Only Lansdale could do it, and he's not like anybody else. Edge of Dark Water is funny, scary, suspenseful, and just plain entertaining. It's a Lansdale book, so what else would you expect? Check it out.