Oh my. This 900 pager is near the top of the list of best books I’ve read this year.
The Watson Legend, retold in three books. Ed “Jack” Watson, a renegade desperado who tries valiantly to prosper legitimately by producing cane syrup on his western Florida island near the Everglades. On the run from the law for several murders he didn’t commit (but a few that he did), he gets a reputation for outlaw killer who murders his workers come payday. Book 1 told from the perspective of everyone who watched him get gunned down in 1910 by a posse/mob. Book 2 told by Lucius, his son (turned history professor), searching for the true killers of his father. Book 3 told by Ed himself (which got off to a bit of a slow start for me, but 20 pages in, I was back to being enthralled).
Conveys the dreamy, otherworldly qualities about the swamplands of south Florida. Great writing, of course.
To Lucius, investigating his father’s life in Fort White:
Working his toothpick, the Deacon frowned and muttered, patting the pockets of memory for something lost. “Born right here in this ol’ town and I ain’t been back in years,” he sighed, “and it ain’t like I live so far away. Eleven miles! Just goes to show how life leaks away when you ain’t paying attention. One day you look up, look around, and the world is empty. Not empty exactly but something is wrong, there ain’t no color left to life.”