Franklin, Tom. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. New York: Harper, 2010. Print.
I was captured in the opening paragraphs because I visualized my grandparents' home. Franklin absolutely put me in "my happy place," and I kept reading.
"Scary Larry" still lives with his parents until his father dies and his mother is moved into a nursing home for Alzheimer's. His character is believable, and I wondered if there was something a little "off" about him because he still lived at home.
When Larry was in high school, a young girl disappears, and he is the last one to see her. He becomes suspect #1. Twenty five years later, another girl disappears, and Larry is once again the prime suspect.
The story flashes back and forth which was a little confusing, but once the characters became "real" to me, I could follow the story. I was surprised at the unfolding of the past. Franklin does a good job teasing the reader and layering the story so that the plot is not as predictable as it might seem. A friend of mine described this as "traveling through the stories." I liked that expression.
Silas "32" Jones is the constable and gets "hunches" which are not quite out of the blue. His police work actual saves Larry's life. We find out later in the story that Silas has carried a huge secret and perhaps it is his guilt that guides his hunches.
Larry is a sympathetic character because in spite of his reputation, he's managed to live. He knows what is true and plods along in spite of the rumors, stares and vandalism. He is not the simpleton the reader (me) assumed he is.
This was an enjoyable story set in M-i-crooked letter-crooked letter-i-crooked letter-crooked letter-i-hump back-hump back-i.