The Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Frankie Silver was a real mountain woman convicted and hanged for the murder of her teen-aged husband in 1823. The fact that she killed him and dismembered him and burned him in the fireplace makes the community rise up against the brutality and she is quickly convicted of the crime and sentenced to be the first woman to ever be hanged in the state.
As time goes on and more facts surface, the townspeople begin to conclude there was much more to the murder and sympathy develops for the quiet, docile 18 year old. Frankie's husband was a drunk who abused Frankie and possibly their baby daughter.
The plot switches between the 1823 and the local sheriff in the present. The sheriff, recovering from being shot, receives a summons to attend the execution of a man he arrested 20 years ago. He has always been fascinated with the story of Frankie Silver and the probability that she was hanged unjustly and he feels that the present murderer may be in the same situation.
There are some weaknesses in the plot, especially with a present day investigation the Sheriff's deputies try to keep from him and the present day execution, but the story is very compelling despite the problems. I enjoyed the book and will read more in this series.
View all my reviews >>