WINNER OF THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AWARD FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR. 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's one-time boyhood friend. The law couldn't prove Larry guilty, but Amos' residents have 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 mystery is the unspoken secret that hangs over the lives of two men - one black, one white. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year, is a masterful novel, sizzling with deep Southern menace.
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. One of those American Deep South crime novels that wreaks of menace with strong issues and lots of atmosphere, bigotry and sense of place. It alternates between past and present, black and white, very cleverly done. Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger 2011. CWA Judges’ comments: 'Larry and Silas, white and black, boyhood friends in rural Mississippi thirty years ago, are separated by an apparent crime that changes their lives. A poignant suspense novel drenched in the languid atmosphere of small-town Mississippi where police investigate the murder of a local teenage girl. The novel explores fractured friendships and families as the legacy of racism, poverty, loneliness and misplaced suspicion from decades back.'
In a small Mississippi town, two men are torn apart by circumstance and reunited by tragedy in this resonant new novel from the award-winning author of the critically-acclaimed Hell at the Breech. Larry Ott and Silas "e;32"e; Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother-their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again. Her stepfather tried to have Larry arrested but no body was found and Larry never confessed. The incident shook up the town, including Silas, and the bond the boys shared was irrevocably broken. Almost thirty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence in Chabot, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion, the looks of blame that have shadowed him. Silas left home to play college baseball, but now he's Chabot's constable. The men have few reasons to cross paths, and they rarely do-until fate intervenes again. Another teenaged girl has disappeared, causing rumors to swirl once again. Now, two men who once called each other friend are finally forced to confront the painful past they've buried for too many years.