Mystery Book Review: The Boy Who Shoots Crows By Randall Silvis
Randall Silvis, author of The Boy Who Shoots Crows, is an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and teacher. He was educated at Clarion University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Silvis was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Indiana University of Pennsylvania for his distinguished literary accomplishments. The Boy Who Shoots Crows is his new novel published in December 2011.
In this novel, Jesse Rankin, a young boy, takes a shotgun into the woods to shoot crows and never comes out. Sheriff Marcus Gatesman starts the investigation by questioning Charlotte Dunleavy, a divorced New York painter who lives at the adjoining farm. Charlotte reports seeing Dylan Hayes, an older boy who works for neighboring farmer Mike Verner, enter the woods around the time Jesse went missing. She later changes her story but the damage is done: Jesse’s father Denny beats Dylan brutally when he hears this. Livvie refuses to stay with her husband (you will find out who she is when you read the book!). Charlotte takes her in and then the relationship between the two women adds to the complexity.
The Boy Who Shoots Crows has a slow-moving plot: There are poetic remarks in the story in which readers need to absorb and the clues they need to remember rather than passing quickly. This is a well-written story, the language is beautiful and the the author takes readers through a journey full of complexities.