Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
by Tom Franklin
Morrow, 2010. 274 pgs. Fiction.
Larry Ott, never popular, becomes the pariah of his small Mississippi town after he takes a girl to the movies and she never comes back. Larry's loneliness is made worse by the fact that his childhood friend Silas, a black kid also without friends, has pulled away for this and other reasons. When another girl goes missing from the town, Larry is suspect. Silas, by then the town constable, is drawn into an investigation which will force both men to come to terms with their shared past and with what they have become. No plot summary can begin to convey the richness of setting, dialogue, fellow feeling and pain with which this narrative is charged. Easily one of the best books of the year, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a thought-provoking, heartbreaking work both American to its core, and universal in its reach. (Also violent and a bit languagey).