Crooked letter crooked letter summary
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Rate this book. 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 '32' 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.
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The novel, set in the Southern United States, begins with an attack: specifically, the attack of a masked intruder on white mechanic Larry Ott, long suspected of the murder of one teenaged young woman and more recently suspected of the disappearance and possible murder of another. When he learns that Larry has been shot and seriously injured, Silas begins an informal investigation into that crime as well, both investigations leading him and the reader into a series of encounters with the past. Alternating chapters, recounting present and past events from the points of view of Larry and Silas, reveal that Larry was the last person to see teenaged Cindy Walker alive; that no evidence was ever found to conclusively link her to what was generally believed to be her death; and that in the years since Cindy disappeared, Larry has been ostracized by virtually everyone in the town of Chabot Mississippi, where he grew up and continues to make his home, and where he is the prime suspect in the recent disappearance of Tina Rutherford, a member of the wealthiest family in the area. Finally, narration reveals that shortly after Cindy disappeared, Silas went away to complete his schooling, while Larry stayed in Chabot. In the present, Larry survives the shooting but remains in a coma. He also investigates the placement of a poisonous snake in the mailbox of a young woman from the poorer part of town, and has an encounter on the road with a law-breaking young man who introduces himself as Wallace Stringfellow.