October 2010 Indie Next List
“This is a spellbinding novel about friendship, honesty and race relations in Mississippi. The two main characters, Silas Jones and Larry Ott are childhood friends who have been separated by circumstance and time. Now, adults, they are thrust in each other's path again when a girl goes missing and the past must be confronted. A thriller as well as a character study, this powerful and redemptive novel, reminiscent of Dennis Lehane and Attica Locke, is unforgettable.”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged.
More than twenty years have passed. Larry lives a solitary, shunned existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has become the town constable. And now another girl has disappeared, forcing two men who once called each other "friend" to confront a past they've buried for decades.
About the Author
Tom Franklin is the New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include Poachers, Hell at the Breech, and Smonk. He teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.
“A ripping good mystery, this novel also has depth and a subtle literary side, as the local area comes to life through the writer’s cinematic descriptive phrases and a large and colorful cast of supporting characters. Highly recommended.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
“A new Tom Franklin novel is always a reason to get excited, but Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is more—a cause for celebration. What a great novel by a great novelist.”
“Long after the other 75 novels of suspense you’ve read this year merge in your memory, you’ll vividly recall this novel. Franklin has written not just a thriller of the first order, but a very fine novel, indeed.”
“Beautiful writing, a spot-on sense of place, wickedly funny dialogue, and an emotionally potent story charge this highly original, literary crime offering from master stylist Tom Franklin.”
“A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.”
“[A] terrific new novel….If you’re looking for a smart, thoughtful novel that sinks deep into a Southern hamlet of the American psyche, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is your next book.”