Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Seven great crime novels with first person narrators

Scott Blackburn is an English instructor and a 2017 graduate of the Mountainview MFA program. He lives in High Point, North Carolina with his wife and two children. When he is not writing and teaching, Blackburn enjoys training in combat sports such as boxing, Muay Thai, and Ju-jitsu, in which he holds a black belt.

At CrimeReads he tagged seven top first person narrators from crime novels, including:
Billy Lowe, from Eli Cranor’s debut Don’t Know Tough

In this novel, which is touted as a dark, Southern Gothic take on Friday Night Lights, many of the chapters are narrated by Billy Lowe, a temperamental, tough-as-nails teenage running back who has faced the hardships of poverty and abuse since he was a young boy. While trying to stay focused on the field and keep out of trouble off the field, Billy’s abuser is murdered, putting him at the center of an intense investigation. The story itself had me plenty engaged, but Billy’s voice was the chef’s kiss that really hooked me from jump street. Billy is from the Delta region of Arkansas, and the dialect that Cranor, an Arkansas native, used in writing his sections is spot on, resulting in a slow, punchy cadence that truly haunts the page.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Know Tough.

--Marshal Zeringue