Sometimes you read a sentence and think, "Exactly," and believe you could've written this same thing. other times, you read something and just think, "Wow". Tom Franklin writes like that. I love how he thinks and I love how lyrical his words are. The story is a compelling look at racism, ignorance, and small-town mentality in a southern Mississippi town. The story is suspenseful, not because you don't know who the bad guys are, but because it doesn't matter who the bad guys are. Bad things happen, good people suffer. (I think I've been traumatized by recent books where no one is safe and everyone gets slaughtered,either literally or figuratively. Chaos Walking, I'm talking about you.)
There are two protagonist; Silas Jones, the town constable and Larry Ott, his childhood friend who's been suspected for the past 25 years of killing a local girl. Another girl goes missing, Larry is the obvious suspect, and Silas's job is to solve the crime. Larry has been punished, shunned by the town for 25 years for a crime he's never been found guilty of. Silas left town 25 years ago and returned 2 years ago to become constable. Both these characters are well-fleshed out, as are many of the secondary characters.