Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the few books to remind me that life is beautiful yet heartbreaking at the same time. Right from the start, Franklin nailed it and kept me wanting more. Having recently taken an interest in the southern gothic genre, I was pleasantly surprised by this character driven crime thriller. You have Larry and Silas -- who are both connected to a girl that went missing when Larry took her to a drive-in movie when he was young. With that in mind, Franklin's use of both, should I say, past and present narrative didn't feeling jarring whenever he transitioned because he maintained that balance. I also liked the used of narrative concerning the childhood of Larry and Silas because it provided a background for the characters as a way of letting me know were they came from and also as a way of illustrating how their past impacted the plot. If Franklin left those moments out, I don't think I would have been all that interested in the characters.
I found it interesting that in the present day, Silas and Larry didn't have the friendship they did when they were young, which probably had to do with what happened at the drive-in. In the book, Silas is the town constable and Larry lives in solitude. It's as if they were having a conversation even though, for most of the book, they didn't have contact with one another. I could probably analyze that to death and point out some examples, but I'll say the way that Franklin utilized that kind of reminded me of those police procedurals or what have you where you'll have investigations taking place. From what I recall, Larry and Silas do come in contact with one another in the last few chapters, but you'll have to read the book in order to get the full understanding of that.
I thought, for the most part, the story moved along at a pretty good pace and I was never really bored with it. Franklin's use of poetic language was something I caught onto quickly, and I'd say it helped to draw me in.
Overall, I rather enjoyed Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and I hope you do too if you decide to pick it up. I'm glad I've been exploring the southern gothic genre lately, especially after giving this one a try.
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