Saturday, July 10, 2010
How do you spell Mississippi?
I doubt anyone will be surprised when I admit that, in the course of casting thirty to forty titles a month, I am unable to read them all cover to cover. Some books are fairly self-explanatory--a glance at the dust jacket pretty much says it all. Some are part of a series, which means it automatically goes to the narrator who read the previous book in the series. Sometimes I have to spend a bit more time, "skimming slowly" to suss out the nature of the story and the characters. There are even books that require a good bit of slogging before they give up their secrets. And of course there are many, many books that I wish I could read all the way through, but I know I can't spare the time.
And then, every so often, I pick up a manuscript, start skimming the first few pages--and realize after a few minutes that I'm not going to be able to put it down.
Discipline flies out the window. Interruptions are a nuisance, emails and phone calls go unanswered. At home, the family is neglected, dinner gets cold. Sleep? Who needs that?
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is a riveting murder mystery set in modern-day rural Mississippi. (The title comes from an old children's spelling trick, " M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I...") The disappearance of a local girl causes two men, one black and one white, to revisit the painful circumstances that led to the disruption of their childhood friendship. The characters are richly drawn, the plot is full of surprising twists and turns and the writing is beautiful.
I think I know who's going to record it but I'm not going to reveal that yet. Suffice it to say I'm looking forward to seeing this one take shape in audio.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter pubs October 5. Keep your eye out for it, I don't think you'll be disappointed.