Alicia Duell's Reviews > The Bottoms

The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
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's review
Mar 29, 2011

liked it
Read in March, 2011

I guess I like my murder mysteries a little more "murder-y" and with more of a creep factor. This novel came with the highest recommendations from one of our very well-regarded English teachers, who knows that I love a good, creepy murder/suspense/thriller. This one actually won an Edgar Award, so I was primed for an edge-of-my-seat experience. It begins with an old man in a nursing home, thinking on his experiences as a boy during the 1930s in East Texas. He and his sister get lost in "the bottoms", a swampy, forested area, and stumble upon the mutilated body of a black woman, tied to a tree with barbed wire. The rest of the novel follows the mystery, which deepens upon the discovery of several more, similarly-murdered women. The novel also has a heavy dose of racial issues, as race relations in the South during the '30s obviously played a major role in life at that time. I liked it, but felt it was a bit heavy-handed with the social issues, with not enough creep to balance it out.

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