Source: supplied by the publisher
Amos, Mississippi, is a quiet town. Silas Jones is its sole law enforcement officer. The last excitement here was nearly twenty years ago, when a teenage girl disappeared on a date with Larry Ott, Silas' one-time boyhood friend. The law couldn't prove Larry guilty, but the whole town has shunned him ever since.
Then the town's peace is shattered when someone tries to kill the reclusive Ott, another young woman goes missing, and the town's drug dealer is murdered. Woven through the tautly written murder story is the unspoken secret that hangs over the lives of two men – one black, one white.
- The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house.
In part CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is Larry's story, but it also the story of his former friend, Silas Jones, known as 32, and now a policeman working out of the county office. In some ways Silas had the attributes Larry didn't: a baseball player all the girls liked. Larry and Silas share a bond although neither really understands why or exactly what the bond is.
The book explores relationships in a small Mississippi town where segregation and accompanying class differences had once been entrenched. We glimpse too how life has changed over a period of about thirty years. That makes it a story of a nation too, and makes this novel much more than crime fiction.
An excellent read. One of those books that will stay in your mind long after you've read it.
My rating: 4.8
2011 Barry Award Best Novel
2011 Edgar Awards - Best Novel
ALA Notable Book (2011)
Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist (Mystery/Thriller, 2010)
Other Reviews to check:
2011 Global Reading Challenge.