Amos, Mississippi, is a quiet town. Silas Jones is its sole law enforcement officer. The last excitement here was nearly twenty years ago, when a teenage girl disappeared on a date with Larry Ott, Silas one-time boyhood friend. The law couldn't prove Larry guilty, but the whole town has shunned him ever since.Then the town's peace is shattered when someone tries to kill the reclusive Ott, another young woman goes missing, and the town's drug dealer is murdered. Woven through the tautly written murder story is the unspoken secret that hangs over the lives of two men – one black, one white. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a masterful crime novel, sizzling with deep Southern menace, and distinguished by brilliant plotting and unforgettable characters.
Tom Franklin's heart-tuggingly melancholic Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was a standout slice of beautiful writing. Superb dialogue, scuffed social realism and painterly description bring alive the Mississippi backwater where the tangled history between ostracised Larry Ott and popular police officer Silas Jones is exposed by the disappearance of a girl. Franklin's powerfully imagined characters are captivating, and the sadness of the story indelibly stains your soul. * Metro -Books of the Year * This award winning crime novel that invited comparisons with To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of white and black boyhood friends in rural Mississippi, separated by an apparent crime that changes their lives. A beautifully crafted thriller that explores the nature of friendship and bigotry. * Financial Times - Books of the Year * Guilt suffuses the pages of Mississippi author Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter as well. Franklin's prose is startlingly beautiful, the novel worth reading purely for his evocation of Mississippi. But what sticks at the end is Franklin's shattering, heart-breaking depiction of loneliness. A deserving winner of the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year. * Observer - Best Books of the Year * Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter deservedly won the Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger for the year's best crime novel. It's a dark, brooding, beautifully written story of a cross-racial friendship dominated by two mysteries nearly two decades apart . . . Franklin's portrayal of small-town paranoia and racial politics is superb, as is his moving treatment of his main, damaged, characters. * The Times - Best Crime Books of the Year * Elegantly plotted, deftly characterised, superbly written, not a word out of place. * Guardian * Beautiful writing, a spot-on sense of place, wickedly funny dialogue, and an emotionally potent story charge this highly original, literary crime offering. * George Pelecanos * A new Tom Franklin novel is always a reason to get excited, but Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is more a cause for celebration. What a great novel by a great novelist. * Dennis Lehane * Long after the other 75 novels of suspense you've read this year merge in your memory, you'll vividly recall this novel. Franklin has written not just a thriller of the first order, but a very fine novel, indeed. * Richard Russo * This harrowing tale, told with ease and control, tracks back and forth across the adult lives and harsh schooldays of two Southern boys . . . Among the tensions in the book are humiliating childhood incidents and countervailing adult insights slow learning of and from early crimes and misdemeanours? It's a literary crime-mystery for dark evenings. * Irish Times * This book will have you enthralled for it is more than just another crime novel. Written in two timeframes, it explores the relationship between two young boys, the nature of suspicion and the solving of a mystery... The characters are engaging and there is just enough menace in the writing to keep you turning the pages. * Press Association * This taut thriller, based around two murders 20 years apart, skilfully explores issues of race, friendship and class in rural America. Franklin has written a meticulously unravelled tale of dark family secrets that enthralls to the last paragraph. * Waterstone's Book Quarterly *