Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Carl, Cecil, Cindy, Chabot, Cane Creek, Charles, Colin, Clyde.  I was so confused at first keeping all these C names straight!  But, I did and I'm glad!  It took me awhile to get into this book not only because of the names but because I had difficulty getting a feel for the characters.  I felt like I had sunglasses on in the house.  I could see but not well.

The writing is what kept me reading, though.  Spare and beautiful.  Every description creative and unique.  The dialogue spot-on Southern.

And then I got into the story and couldn't stop reading.  Larry Ott has been ostracized for 25 years because he was considered the main suspect in the disappearance of Cindy Walker.  No body or evidence was ever found so he was never formally charged.  However, in the eyes of his neighbors, he was guilty.

Silas Jones is a black police officer (the only officer, in fact) in the small Mississippi town where this story takes place.  As a child, he was friends with Larry for a brief time.  Now, another girl has disappeared and, of course, Larry is the first person everyone thinks of. 

In poignant flashbacks Larry's and Silas's stories are revealed and the intertwining of their lives becomes obvious.  I didn't much care for either of them at the beginning but, by the time the story ended, I was a fan.

And those C names?  They all became clear.


Literary Feline said...

I am looking forward to reading this one. I am glad it got better for you as you went. All those C names would probably confuse me too at first!

Canada said...

Other reviewers have written a lot about the story, the characters et al. I just want to say that from the minute I started reading "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter", I could not put it down. We were on vacation, I started the book on our last day there, and I didn't want to stop to go to dinner. But I had to. I read until I fell asleep that night. And on the plane the next day I did not take my nose out of it. Every time my husband tried to talk to me, I just said, "Shhhhh!" and read until I was done. He understood; he read it first and loved it, too. What a great writer, and what an amazing story.