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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sorrow Wood - Raymond L. Atkins

Who said small-town life couldn't be exciting?

Raymond L. Atkins paints a vivid landscape with expansive, yet small Sand Valley, Alabama, a town monitored by policeman Wendell Blackmon and his wife, probate judge Reva. Together, the pair maintain the town's order, keeping animal-fighting rednecks Otter and Deadhand in line and the extramarital issues of many a townsperson behind closed doors. However, when Sorrow Wood, a nearby farm, catches ablaze and leaves behind a charred body, Sand Valley is turned upside down, making even the unlikeliest of folks a suspect.

What's most interesting about the story is the way in which it is told; using alternating chapters to jump from the present time to the past and back, the reader gradually becomes more and more well-acquainted with the Blackmons and their history together, opening the door for the shocking and unexpected ending. Beautifully written with bouts of hilarity only a small-town native could truly appreciate (and perhaps relate to), Sorrow Wood is another ballpark home run for Atkins.


Cal Leandros Series said...

Great read.

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