Monday, December 21, 2020

Five novels that make effective use of place and locale

Russ Thomas's debut novel is Firewatching. He grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get his hands on, writing stories, watching television, and playing videogames: in short, anything that avoided the Great Outdoors. After a few ‘proper’ jobs, he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. Now a full-time writer, he also teaches creative writing classes and mentors new authors.

At the Waterstones blog, Thomas tagged "five great novels that make brilliantly effective use of place and locale," including:
[T]he setting for Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a quiet rural town in Mississippi but is no less unsettling. Silas Jones is the town’s lone law enforcement officer whose boyhood best friend, Larry Ott, was once accused of murder. Though no one could prove Larry was guilty, he has been ostracised by the town ever since. Now Larry has been attacked and another girl is missing. As Silas investigates, he’s forced to confront the unspoken secret hanging over the two men – one black, one white – whose lives have been deeply scarred by the menacing Southern landscape they inhabit.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue