Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Book - 2010
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" ... set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county-and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades"--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780060594664
Characteristics: 274 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 29, 2019

April WPL Book Club Selection: From the very first sentence I loved this book (my maiden name is Rutherford!)....predictable outcome, but sweet.

Jan 11, 2018

loved everything about this novel - writing, setting and memorable characters.

Dec 16, 2017

Great writing. Sparce but descriptive. You can almost smell the places and feel the people. Would love the library to stock more of his novels.

CRRL_MegRaymond Oct 09, 2017

Two very different boys were friends in the late 1970s. When a girl disappears, one is blamed and one leaves town. Twenty years later, another girl disappears. Is history repeating itself?

CatherineG_1 Sep 13, 2016

Thornhill Village Thursday Evening Book Club
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Jul 12, 2016

I sped through this book and once it was over I re-read a few of the descriptions again. He is a beautiful writer, and his characters are heartbreakingly real. I have just put another book of his on hold.

May 15, 2016

I am always up for dramatic Southern fiction. Are Southern writers just touched with something special, or do they have better writing teachers down there? Tom Ford's story is so beautifully written and engrossing, you don't even have a chance to stop and wonder if you CARE. There is no question: you will care. If the story of Larry and Silas doesn't rip your heart out, check to see if you have one! A very satisfying story about friendship, race, and secrets that separate us from one another.

Apr 03, 2016

I don't know that I've read a book where I felt more sympathy toward a main character as I did while reading Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Larry Ott's story broke my heart to the point I often had to remind myself it was just fiction! In my mind, that's a good sign of powerful, skilled storytelling by Tom Franklin.

Nov 04, 2015

New author for me - enjoyable read.

Nov 08, 2013

Enjoyed the story and the characters. It did feel that the story was an edited version made for TV or the movies where there is only so much time to develop the characters and certain scenes have been edited out. You know that movie you watched and want to read the book to find out what you missed

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Apr 03, 2016

vv8 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Algonquin_Lisa Mar 14, 2011

Algonquin_Lisa thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Nov 11, 2013

A nubile co-ed is missing from the same small, rural Mississippi town where another young woman had disappeared twenty-five years earlier—the mystery unsolved, her body never found. So begins Tom Franklin’s stellar novel, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.

Socially-awkward Larry Ott was 16 years old when Cindy Walker, both beautiful and popular, asked him out on a date. That momentous occasion—at least through Larry’s eyes—was the point when his young life began a downward slide from which it would not recover. Walker was never seen again. Although no evidence was ever found connecting him to the girl’s disappearance, the townspeople unanimously convicted Larry without the benefit of any trial. Shunned and taunted, he became the local pariah.

Years later when Tina Rutherford also disappears, “Scary” Larry is the prime suspect. But there’s a major problem--Larry is discovered in his house with a bullet wound to the chest. Barely alive, he’s transported to the hospital where he remains in a coma. The popular theory around town is that Larry’s guilt precipitated his own suicide attempt.

Although he mostly kept to himself while growing up, Larry had had one important but short friendship. That friend, Silas Jones, known as “32” from his impressive baseball days, is the town’s deputy constable. As a teen, Silas had eventually distanced himself from Larry. When the second girl evaporates into thin air, Silas knows his former friend could not have committed the unthinkable crime. He also knows he must come clean about Cindy Walker’s disappearance all those years ago.

A “crooked letter” was a mnemonic device used to help children with spelling the difficult word Mississippi—m, i, crooked letter, crooked letter, i, crooked letter, crooked letter, i, humpback (p), humpback (p), i.


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Jul 03, 2012

Was that what childhood was? Things rushing by out a window, the trees connected by motion, going too fast for him to notice the consequences?


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