Byline: JONATHAN DAWSON
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
AMOS, Mississippi, is a quiet town and Silas Jones is its constable.
The last kerfuffle in this backwater was nearly twenty years ago, when a teenage girl disappeared while on a date with Larry Ott, Silas' one-time boyhood friend. The law couldn't prove Larry guilty, but the whole town has stigmatised him ever since.
The town's peace is wrecked when someone tries to kill the reclusive Ott, another young woman goes missing, and the town's drug seller is murdered.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a quite beautiful crime novel, sweltering with deep Southern menace, plotted with elegance and written in a melancholy tone that calls up echoes of Tennessee Williams at his most regretful, Southern best.
American writers produce elegiac works like this less often now and Tom Franklin brings a haunting sense of place and of time lost to this dark little tale.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a fine addition to American Gothic and an unforgettable novel of transgression and retribution that lingers in the mind long after the finish.