If you’re a fan of mysteries, or just a well-written story, look no further than this one.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
This is the story of a missing girl and the man accused of killing her in the minds of the townspeople in rural Mississippi. Larry Ott has proclaimed his innocence for years, but even without a body, he is guilty of murder in the eyes of the town. Now, twenty years later, another girl is missing and Scary Larry is under suspicion once again.
I can’t give away too much in this blurb without ruining the wonderful mystery the author crafts, but I can tell you that this story is about racism, life in a rural town, and the definition of friendship, both one-sided and true. Normally I can’t stand dialect in novels, but the author does a wonderful job using dialect to keep you rooted in Mississippi without overdoing it. He also illustrates what life for a man ostracized by a small town must be like, and what a lonely existence it must be. This is a thought-provoking mystery that focuses on the motivations and emotions of the people forced to interact because of the missing girl because they are either in law enforcement or have become a suspect.
Why such an odd title? In Mississippi school children are taught how to spell their state’s name in a song that goes: M – I – Crooked Letter – Crooked Letter – I – Crooked Letter – Crooked Letter – I – Humpback – Humpback – I.