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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter ~

January 24, 2011


Genre: Adult Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
288 pages
ISBN: 9780060594664
Source: Bookstore

The sixties have come and gone for the rest of the United States but down in Mississippi, things take a while to trickle down. The deep south is riding along on the coat-tails of ’72, sun in the sky, boys on the battle field and the ball field, high school kids harassing each other and being harassed by parents.

It isn’t all about free-love, though. It’s hardly about free anything, even friendship. It certainly isn’t about love. Race, rum and relatives, somehow always seem to knock good things out of whack and the fun comes to a literal dead halt when a local gal goes missing.

It would be an easy-to-swallow case of a small town girl done run off to the big city but for the fact that she had been out the night before with the village idiot, high school recluse and big time weirdo, Scary Larry. The body was never found. Larry never confessed. Still, the town saw his life go up in smoke in association with the loss.

Twenty year later, Silas “32” Jones, Larry’s long ago friend has moved back into town, running with the law enforcement crowd, digging up dirt on a brand new M.I.A. case. The town instantly fingers Larry but Silas is out to prove that it’s not always the creepy guy who lives alone, who was once accused of a very similar crime.

Fresh on the heels of two back to back crime busting novels by my all time favorite Irish gal, I think I came to this book at the wrong time. Don’t take this as a down and out bust; it has great rhythm, three dimensional, original, plot-carrying folks written into the story and nitty-gritty plot twists that will hold from beginning to end. I just have to whine about it being my second choice for the Edgars, against Faithful Place. But then, that should come as a surprise to no one.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2011 1:58 am

    I don’t get your last 2 sentences, but you’ve got me all curious as to what you mean!

  2. January 24, 2011 10:03 am

    I’m both looking forward to this one and wary about it at the same time. I won an audio version during Readathon, so I’ll be giving it a try that way.

    • January 24, 2011 10:23 am

      I’ll be interested to see what you think of it. I liked it, I did. I just think, I probably came across it at a time when I should have put it away for a different moment so it stood out more. I wonder what the audio version will be like as most of it is in a THICK southern accent!

  3. January 24, 2011 10:33 am

    I loved it, but I think it’s totally true that one’s mood or what one just read or what’s going on in one’s life has a big effect on how one reacts to a book!

  4. January 24, 2011 3:21 pm

    You already know that I loved this one, but I have yet to read French! I know….I know…..

    • January 24, 2011 5:31 pm

      Oh, sheesh, Julie! I didn’t realize you hadn’t. I think you’d really enjoy her books. They’re very good and are not the typical dime-store crime story. Like Crooked Letter, her three are studies of people and more intricate works in family, emotion and all of that awesome good stuff. Really, I think you’d like them.

  5. January 24, 2011 5:45 pm

    You are not the first person I have heard say that this book was not perfect. I totally believe in the wrong book at the wrong time syndrome, and it happens to me quite often. I need a good mix of subjects and often feel that if I read too many in the same genre all in a row, my enjoyment suffers drastically. Good on you for being honest about that!

    • January 25, 2011 1:10 am

      It’s funny because I think my problem fell into that weird little glitch of wanting MORE of what I had been reading and then putting my expectations on a pretty different book.

      I’m learning (sometimes the pleasant way, sometimes the hard way) that the genre of well written, thought provoking mystery/thriller (a category that I have always, snobbishly thought of as pulp, through and through, while we’re continuing my theme of honesty…ack!) is working its way into my heart.

      Although, I could be totally wrong. See, I THINK I like thoughtful crime fiction but I’ve really only read this one (not 100% taken with it but not BAD) and French’s three. I also liked Molly Fox’s Birthday and Picture of Dorian Gray so what I THINK of as a new love might be a misplaced love for Irish lit…eh, we’ll see what the future holds, I guess! :O)

  6. January 24, 2011 11:58 pm

    I’m 1/3 into this one right now. I’m really liking it…thanks for the honest review.

    • January 25, 2011 12:47 am

      What do you think of it? I really did enjoy it as much as subjectivity would allow and I think it’s slow “southern” pace picked up a lot toward the end which made it a bit more snappy. Again, like everyone’s saying, I think it would have been higher on my list (and it certainly wasn’t LOW) if I had read it at a different time.

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