Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Larry Ott has been a pariah in his Mississippi hometown since he was a teenager. He had a date with Cindy Walker to go to a drive-in movie, and she vanished that night. Since there was no evidence and no body, there was no arrest, but Larry, as the chief suspect, has endured ostracism for 25 years. Now another girl has gone missing, and the scrutiny of Larry intensifies, until someone takes matters into his own hands and fires a bullet into Larry's chest. While Larry is in ICU, the local sheriff concludes that Larry attempted suicide. Silas Jones is now the town constable, and he knows better. He and Larry became childhood friends, because Silas and his single mother were living in a ramshackle cabin on Larry's family property. Larry is white, and Silas is black, and for some reason Silas has not made any effort to clear Larry's good name. It's obvious early in the book who tried to take Larry out, but the real story here is the relationship between two men that has gone sour and why. Our sympathies lie mainly with Larry, whose solitary existence is interrupted only by meanness on the part of his neighbors. He's not even welcome at church. He sells off his land, little by little, to scrape by, metaphorically chipping off pieces of himself until nothing is left. Silas, on the other hand, with his Ole Miss education and EMT girlfriend, has overcome the fetters of early poverty to become a respected member of the community. Larry's shining moment from the past was a Halloween party, for which he wore the same scary mask that his would-be killer wears. Silas, though, is really the one with something to hide. An unsettling revelation makes his secret even more of a burden, perhaps giving him the impetus to come clean.

1 comment:

talia said...

I just couldn't stop reading this book. Great very well developed characters. You won't be sorry that you took the time to read this.......amazing view of judging people.