Review: The Boy Who Shoots Crows By Randall Silvis

Randall Silvis 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 the book, 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 is a slow-moving book; this is not a book to read in one sitting: There are poetic remarks in the story in which you want to absorb and the clues you want to remember rather than passing quickly. This is a well-written story, the language is beautiful and the the author takes you through a journey full of complexities. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Amazon link to the book: The Boy Who Shoots Crows.