Lewis Nordan's novels aren't the type I usually choose, but when I do actually read something of his, I'm always impressed. The Sharpshooter Blues is another novel about the little town of Arrow Catcher, Mississippi. The same characters pop up in several of Nordan's novels and stories, and by now, I've read enough of his novels that they're like old friends.
The Sharpshooter Blues centers on a violent robbery in the William Tell grocery store, during which "two lovely children" are shot to death by "Hydro" Raney (so called because he was born with hydrocephalus) who works in the store. I know I'd read about this incident in a different work of Nordan's, but can't pinpoint which one. I think it was one of his short stories and in The Sharpshooter Blues, the incident is expanded into a novel.
Every time I read something by Lewis Nordan, I'm blown away by the quality of the writing. He is a writer's writer. The Sharpshooter Blues is tragic and heartbreaking and disturbing, but also hopeful.
Good choice for those who enjoy Southern gothic and dark comedy.