Title: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Author: Tom Franklin
I've been saving Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter to read as a reward for the end of the semester, and I'm pleased to say that it was worth the wait. I'd heard a lot of hype about the book, which tells the story of two boys, one white and one black, who grew up as friends in rural Mississippi, then parted ways. In the ensuing quarter century, Silas, was a star baseball player and returned after college to work as the town constable, which means he eats for free at the local diner and catches speeders in a jeep older than he is. Larry, careful and bookish, became the town pariah after he took a girl on a date and she disappeared forever. When another girl disappears, Larry quickly becomes the prime suspect, and the men must confront their long-buried shared past.
I loved the idea of this story, and the language was literary without being overwrought. It was also a quick read-- it finished it in two nights at our hotel at Disneyland, and I'm pressuring Eddie to read the book right now (unlike Bossypants and Discovery of Witches, neither of which I think he'd like). There were a few things I felt were farfetched-- like how the town ignored the most obvious suspect in the 1982 murder and placed all the blame on Larry. I was a little surprised that people were unwilling to give him at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, but I've never lived in a tiny town and don't understand how they operate. There's also another element of the story, the tie that will bind Larry and Silas forever, that seemed to be taken for granted without, like, evidence or anything. I can't say more for fear of ruining the plot, but neither of these points really interfered with my overall enjoyment of this fine book.