Quote of the Week

"The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them."
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic
10-30-03. Web Comic Pioneer

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter by Sharyn McCrumb

The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter by Sharyn McCrumb
As with all McCrumb’s novels, setting is off paramount importance. Just the name, “Dark Hollow”, Tennessee sets the mood for a haunting but regionally realistic murder. Mix an old woman with “site” into the future, an old man dying due to environmental pollution on a gigantic scale, with a newcomer preacher’s wife (he’s been called to the Mid-East), an understanding sheriff, vulnerable children and four brutal murders and the recipe results in a page turner in true McCrumb style. As always, McCrumb begins each chapter with an appropriate quote from Appalachian songs, poems, essays. All add to the sense of foreboding building to the climax of the story. Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter is one of nine ballad novels which combine legends, nature and modern day issues in a mystery at once believable and possible. McCrumb’s characters deserve mention for their reality. Lead characters are developed with great detail not only to attributes but to weaknesses as well. They grow, change, lie, sneak, are brave, scared, just generally cover the gamut of human experience.
This is not the first McCrumb novel I have read and is certainly not the last. In addition to a huge amount of fiction including, NASCAR Novels, Elizabeth MacPherson novels, Jay Omega novels, short stories and reams of contributions to anthologies and literary magazines, McCrumb is a prolific non-fiction writer provide amazing amounts of information of the Appalachian Mountain land and people of North Carolina and Tennessee. To see her long list of awards and complete list of writing, visit: http://www.sharynmccrumb.com/bio.html. Her books, including audio versions, are widely available nationwide at public libraries and at retailers such as independent books stores and online.