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The Ballad of Frankie Silver

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A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and executi A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and execution over 100 years old -- the story of a great injustice, and a woman condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. Suddenly, the sheriff finds himself in a race against and across time to see that history doesn't repeat itself!


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A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and executi A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and execution over 100 years old -- the story of a great injustice, and a woman condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. Suddenly, the sheriff finds himself in a race against and across time to see that history doesn't repeat itself!

30 review for The Ballad of Frankie Silver

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Description: A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and execution over 100 years old -- the story of a great injustice, and a woman condemned to die for a crime she didn't com Description: A career lawman will bear witness to the final judgement, as a man he put away twenty years ago is about to be executed for the brutal slaying of two hikers. However, his conscience is no longer clear to the point of absolute certainty about the man's guilt. Also of intense interest to the lawman is the parallel between the current events and a legendary murder and execution over 100 years old -- the story of a great injustice, and a woman condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. Suddenly, the sheriff finds himself in a race against and across time to see that history doesn't repeat itself! Old Sparky, Tennessee 3* She Walks These Hills (Ballad, #3) TR The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4) CR The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    Cowboy stories are definitely not my thing. I should know better than to read books nominated by people who consider Ernest Hemingway the greatest writer ever even if it was for my in person book club.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This passage makes me swoon: "The blonde man was a Mr. Silver, the keeper of the family history. He could have been any age, and he had been born here in the county, but his accent had been worn away like a river rock, softened by years spent in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles. Now he had come home to stay and attend the legends." One of my favorite characters from this wonderful series is Nora Bonesteel. She has the Sight which unnerves some people. Indeed, "Nobody wanted to have much to do with N This passage makes me swoon: "The blonde man was a Mr. Silver, the keeper of the family history. He could have been any age, and he had been born here in the county, but his accent had been worn away like a river rock, softened by years spent in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles. Now he had come home to stay and attend the legends." One of my favorite characters from this wonderful series is Nora Bonesteel. She has the Sight which unnerves some people. Indeed, "Nobody wanted to have much to do with Nora Bonesteel. She knew things. People said that when you came to tell her the news of a death in the valley the cake for the family was already in the oven"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    Frankie Silver was a real person,the first woman hanged in the state of North Carolina, on July 12, 1833. Hers was a tragic story - 18 years old when brought to trial for the murder of her husband, mother of an infant daughter.Convicted in a two-day trial, she was not allowed by law to testify in her own behalf. Her appeals denied by the state supreme court, a grass-roots effort in the community arose to secure a pardon ,but it was not to be. As she stood on the gallows, about to speak, her own Frankie Silver was a real person,the first woman hanged in the state of North Carolina, on July 12, 1833. Hers was a tragic story - 18 years old when brought to trial for the murder of her husband, mother of an infant daughter.Convicted in a two-day trial, she was not allowed by law to testify in her own behalf. Her appeals denied by the state supreme court, a grass-roots effort in the community arose to secure a pardon ,but it was not to be. As she stood on the gallows, about to speak, her own father shut her down with the cry, "Die with it in you, Frankie!" Modern-day Sheriff Spencer Arrowood receives notice that, as sheriff of the home county, he is to witness the execution of a man he himself had put on death row some twenty years ago. Sure of himself as a young deputy, he is much less so as a mature sheriff, and his uncertainties lead him to the case of the lamented Mrs. Silver. What is the connection between two cases 160 years apart? Ms. McCrumb deftly weaves both stories together so that the great disparities between truth and justice stand in stark contrast. Read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Didn't really hold my attention. Weird subplot that I'm guessing was meant to parallel the main story, but didn't really. Odd details and foreshadowing that didn't lead anywhere and/or their resolutions were anti-climatic (for example, Burgess mentioned the death of his brother a few times and within the context, made it sound like the death would be an integral part of the story later on. . . of which it was certainly not. And such a big deal was made about keeping the newest murder news away f Didn't really hold my attention. Weird subplot that I'm guessing was meant to parallel the main story, but didn't really. Odd details and foreshadowing that didn't lead anywhere and/or their resolutions were anti-climatic (for example, Burgess mentioned the death of his brother a few times and within the context, made it sound like the death would be an integral part of the story later on. . . of which it was certainly not. And such a big deal was made about keeping the newest murder news away from a sheriff who was recovering from and injury -- so when he finally finds out about the case, he was like "You shouldn't have kept this from me," then he overtook the investigation and that was that!) Overall, the flow of novel was disjointed, and the switching between time periods was confusing and imo added nothing to the story. I felt like I was reading something written by a student who was assigned to write a 50 page story and only had significant material for 30 so to stretch it out, he threw in a subplot but missed connecting the dots.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    This book has two threads:one is about a trial and execution of Frankie Silver in 1830 North Carolina. The second is about a modern day murder in Tennessee. The author goes back and forth between the two and connects the two at the end. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood is the modern day central character in the book. He is a central character in other ballad books. I give it four stars out of five.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chad Lorion

    The Ballad of Frankie Silver is the only Sharyn McCrumb novel I've read. And that's to my loss. I read the paperback version of The Ballad of Frankie Silver about five years ago and I've kept it on my shelf ever since, knowing I'll reread it at least a couple more times over the next few years. Yeah, it's that good. The story alternates between two murder cases, one from 1833, the other from the 1990s. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood is working on the latter while researching the former. What he finds The Ballad of Frankie Silver is the only Sharyn McCrumb novel I've read. And that's to my loss. I read the paperback version of The Ballad of Frankie Silver about five years ago and I've kept it on my shelf ever since, knowing I'll reread it at least a couple more times over the next few years. Yeah, it's that good. The story alternates between two murder cases, one from 1833, the other from the 1990s. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood is working on the latter while researching the former. What he finds influences his view of his current case. Watching Sheriff Arrowood think his way through the case, challenge public opinion of everyone in town, and stand on principle rather than the public outrage of the case is one of the most pleasurable reading experiences I've had in the past ten years. As for the murder case from 1833, Frankie Silver is the main character from that storyline, and what a character. She's on trial for murder. Should be a clear-cut case. But, of course, it isn't. Frankie Silver is one of my all-time favorite characters in fiction. She's strong, sympathetic, resourceful, and courageous. Yet, she's no super woman. She hurts, suffers, is lonely, and has to persevere through an extremely difficult time, even when all others around her may desert her. As for the writing, wow. McCrumb knows how to turn a phrase without making it seem like she's turning a phrase. Know what I mean? Sometimes authors write descriptive narrative with flourishes and metaphors and similes, and sometimes it works, but may times it doesn't. It just seems like the author is writing that way because she can and she wants us to know she can. That is not the case with McCrumb's writing. Yes, it's descriptive, it's beautiful, it's powerful, but it never gets in the way of the story she's telling. And I guess that's the best thing I could say about McCrumb--she's a fantastic storyteller. After that, what else is there? If you're looking for two murder mysteries rolled into one, a story that stretches across time to touch your heart and challenge your mind, and some characters you'll grow to love, then check out The Ballad of Frankie Silver. In tomorrow's review, I'll discuss a book that was the author's first attempt at writing without an outline, this after having published at least four novels with some success. Turned out, this novel would become his first hardcover bestseller and he would never again use an outline for any of his novels after that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    **edited 12/04/13 Frankie Silver was not quite what I expected from the description. It does indeed interweave the present-day with the past, but it is the past where McCrumb focuses her energy and narrative. The two present-day cases only add a frame of reference and a sense of immediacy and connection to that long-ago crime. In the present day, Tennessee Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, laid up at home due to injuries during a shootout, is brooding on the upcoming execution of a man he helped to put b **edited 12/04/13 Frankie Silver was not quite what I expected from the description. It does indeed interweave the present-day with the past, but it is the past where McCrumb focuses her energy and narrative. The two present-day cases only add a frame of reference and a sense of immediacy and connection to that long-ago crime. In the present day, Tennessee Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, laid up at home due to injuries during a shootout, is brooding on the upcoming execution of a man he helped to put behind bars. Mentally, he begins to link the case to that of Frankie Silver, an eighteen-year-old girl tried for the murder and savage decapitation of her husband in the early 1800s. Frankie was subsequently found guilty hung by the neck until dead, but her death only added to the case's sense of incompleteness-- how could she have had the sheer strength to chop up her husband so brutally? What were her last words to be when they were silenced by her father? The book quickly delves into the past, and Frankie's story is told alternately from her own point of view and that of the clerk of the court. Due to my disapproval of GR's new and rather subjective review deletion policy, The rest of my (rather verbose and quote-filled) review is posted over here at Booklikes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    I never imagined that the story of two double murders and a woman who hacked her husband to death with an axe could be mind-numbingly boring, but Sharyn McCrumb was able to do it. I can't tell you how many pages of intertwining family trees I read through, willing my poor brain to keep them all in order, until I finally realized that they were going to have nothing, NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. How many times could we be reminded about how small and young Frankie was? How many letters sent to th I never imagined that the story of two double murders and a woman who hacked her husband to death with an axe could be mind-numbingly boring, but Sharyn McCrumb was able to do it. I can't tell you how many pages of intertwining family trees I read through, willing my poor brain to keep them all in order, until I finally realized that they were going to have nothing, NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. How many times could we be reminded about how small and young Frankie was? How many letters sent to the governor did we have to hear explained, and then forced to read? How many completely uninteresting and pointless characters did we have to be forced to meet? By the end of the book I couldn't have cared less about a single one of them. All in all, a waste of time and money.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Snigdha Agarwal

    So many parts that didn't lead anywhere. Frankie's death was sad and so was Fate's. Ending conveyed poor are hanged and family values of mountain people. Cool fact: We don't wonder the reason why someone commits a crime because that would be questioning Gods will! That's why the system is set up this way; to put bandages instead of solving the problem. Religion is truly embedded in everything. Good quotes: -- I'm just not sure that you can take one day of a person's life, draw a line, and judge h So many parts that didn't lead anywhere. Frankie's death was sad and so was Fate's. Ending conveyed poor are hanged and family values of mountain people. Cool fact: We don't wonder the reason why someone commits a crime because that would be questioning Gods will! That's why the system is set up this way; to put bandages instead of solving the problem. Religion is truly embedded in everything. Good quotes: -- I'm just not sure that you can take one day of a person's life, draw a line, and judge him on it. I'm getting old. I keep thinking the world would be a better place if there's less justice and more charity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angela Gauldin

    I live in the rural town of Morganton, where the first woman ever was sentenced to hang in the state of North Carolina. Ive always wanted to find out more about this tragic yet sad tale. It was interesting indeed to learn more about the legendary infamous Frankie Silver.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Some verses from the Bible about equal justice under the law: Leviticus 19:15 "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly." Proverbs 29:7 "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern." This book made me see that even among decent, respectable people, of good moral character, it is very difficult to be impartial, and one must really 'go against the flow' to show equal justice and mercy t Some verses from the Bible about equal justice under the law: Leviticus 19:15 "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly." Proverbs 29:7 "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern." This book made me see that even among decent, respectable people, of good moral character, it is very difficult to be impartial, and one must really 'go against the flow' to show equal justice and mercy to rich and poor alike. Perhaps something that we human beings need divine help to be able to do. Reading this story leads me to admire those in law enforcement and judicial careers who truly strive to provide equal justice to people from all walks of life, and I now want to have my eyes open to any ways in which I can offer encouragement to those who are looking out for the legal rights of the poor. In addition to stirring up my heart to care more about what happens in our nation's courts of law, 'The Ballad of Frankie Silver' is also a well-written novel which tells an interesting story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Excellent historical fiction based on an actual event from North Carolina’s history, the early 1830s trial and conviction of Frankie Silver, a young mother accused of murdering her husband. When present day Sheriff Spencer Arrowood begins to have misgivings about an upcoming execution – one he must witness – it causes him to reflect back on the folklore surrounding the Frankie Silver case. The parallel he uncovers between the two cases leads to an unsettling revelation and provides insight into Excellent historical fiction based on an actual event from North Carolina’s history, the early 1830s trial and conviction of Frankie Silver, a young mother accused of murdering her husband. When present day Sheriff Spencer Arrowood begins to have misgivings about an upcoming execution – one he must witness – it causes him to reflect back on the folklore surrounding the Frankie Silver case. The parallel he uncovers between the two cases leads to an unsettling revelation and provides insight into the cultural inequality of the justice system, both then and now. On rereading, this continues to be my favorite out of master storyteller Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachian Ballad series but I think I'll reread a few more just to be sure.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    A good mystery with some NC history; to my mind a great combination.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nell

    Mary Jane has suggested Sharyn McCrumb to me innumerable times over the years, and I finally picked up a library discard to read on the plane. I really enjoyed it, though I wouldn't binge-read McCrumb's books if this one is representative; the tone is dark enough to require some spacing out, and the historical figures are pretty accurate and detail-heavy, down to enumerating a complex web of relatives of the family into which Gaither married. That's why it deserves tagging as history. I would re Mary Jane has suggested Sharyn McCrumb to me innumerable times over the years, and I finally picked up a library discard to read on the plane. I really enjoyed it, though I wouldn't binge-read McCrumb's books if this one is representative; the tone is dark enough to require some spacing out, and the historical figures are pretty accurate and detail-heavy, down to enumerating a complex web of relatives of the family into which Gaither married. That's why it deserves tagging as history. I would read more of this author, just not one after another. This one takes place in Morganton, NC, about an hour east of here. Opened up the latest issue of Our State magazine to see a photo of the "new" courthouse mentioned by Burgess Gaither, and the article mentions Frankie Silver. Always enriches the reading experience if I can relate the book to a real place I have been or known, and we are learning this part of the southern Appalachians. Deft weaving of the historical and contemporary story lines. As the author says in the afterword, not much has changed over a century and a half in the unequal way "justice" is administered to those with means and those without. Thoughtful as well as entertaining.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I've been wanting to read one of McCrumb's Ballad Series for a few years, and man did I enjoy it. I love that she's bringing these ballads to life. I loved reading about life in Appalachia in both the 19th and 20th centuries. And I just love Southern Lit. I've been wanting to read one of McCrumb's Ballad Series for a few years, and man did I enjoy it. I love that she's bringing these ballads to life. I loved reading about life in Appalachia in both the 19th and 20th centuries. And I just love Southern Lit.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    A little slow in places but I quite liked the fact that the novel is based on the true story behind a ballad. Tugged at my heartstrings in a few places too

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne Glenn

    Four stars for historic research, three for writing. Feels a bit dated and slightly melodramatic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elliedakota

    A tedious, plodding family history. Absolutely no mystery to it. The resolution is apparent from the start.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Wacksman

    Initially I thought this book wasn't going anywhere but it did and was well-worth the read. The part that was confusing was she jumped between different murder cases on the same page which I found confusing. However, having been raised in East Tennessee, I was familiar with the locations mentioned in the stories and was interested in the tales she was relating. I gave her a 5 because she kept to the actual facts of the different murders and added conversations that were very believable. Everyone Initially I thought this book wasn't going anywhere but it did and was well-worth the read. The part that was confusing was she jumped between different murder cases on the same page which I found confusing. However, having been raised in East Tennessee, I was familiar with the locations mentioned in the stories and was interested in the tales she was relating. I gave her a 5 because she kept to the actual facts of the different murders and added conversations that were very believable. Everyone should know the about the real Frankie Silver.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    This is certainly not an uplifting book but an excellently written one. The book alternates between two time periods - the 1800s and the present. Both deal with people who have been convicted of murder and are awaiting execution. In the earlier time period, it is Frankie Silver, an 18 year old woman who is convicted of killing her young husband but to some, something is amiss. In the present, another young man (Fate Harkryder) was convicted of murdering two hikers and now it is 20 years later an This is certainly not an uplifting book but an excellently written one. The book alternates between two time periods - the 1800s and the present. Both deal with people who have been convicted of murder and are awaiting execution. In the earlier time period, it is Frankie Silver, an 18 year old woman who is convicted of killing her young husband but to some, something is amiss. In the present, another young man (Fate Harkryder) was convicted of murdering two hikers and now it is 20 years later and his time on death row is coming to an end as his execution is set. The Sheriff that arrested him is invited to be a witness to the execution but he is suddenly unsure of the guilt of this man. He looks back to the case of Frankie Silver to try to come to some sort of acceptable understanding before it is too late. Although the reader knows the outcome of the Frankie Silver case at the outset, what happens with Fate is now known until the end. What the Sheriff discovers from his research into Frankie's case will probably not come as a complete surprise to the reader but how that plays into Fate's case is not entirely expected. A great, although sad, read that will keep you interested until the very end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    This is an interesting plot linking execution of murderers 165 years apart. Frankie Silver is arrested, tried and found guilty of murdering her husband in 1832. Fate Harkryder has been on death row for 20 years for the murders of two hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood has received notice that he must witness the execution of Harkryder, but he is haunted by the feeling that Fate is not guilty. His reinvestigation of this 20 year old case prompts him to also reinvestigate This is an interesting plot linking execution of murderers 165 years apart. Frankie Silver is arrested, tried and found guilty of murdering her husband in 1832. Fate Harkryder has been on death row for 20 years for the murders of two hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood has received notice that he must witness the execution of Harkryder, but he is haunted by the feeling that Fate is not guilty. His reinvestigation of this 20 year old case prompts him to also reinvestigate the case of Frankie Silver. McCrumb writes an excellent story with great characterization. I found it tedious at times especially when she describes the 1832 Morganton residents whom all seem to be related by marriage. It was beginning to sound like the Bible with all the begats. In her author's notes, she explains why she felt the need to do this. She also threw in two other murders--one current(no need for it all) and one involving an attorney shooting another attorney in a courtroom (added to show the injustice of Frankie's sentence), but I felt they interfered with the flow of the story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I cannot thank my friend Natalie enough for recommending this book to me! I love storytelling and folklore and the story of Frankie Silver would have been enough for me to enjoy this book. My family comes from the foothills of Appalachia, and recently my kids have returned there for college and I have felt inexplicably drawn to the area over and over as I travel to visit them. There is a mystery there in the hills that draws you in, and somehow McCrumb captures it. But McCrumb does more than jus I cannot thank my friend Natalie enough for recommending this book to me! I love storytelling and folklore and the story of Frankie Silver would have been enough for me to enjoy this book. My family comes from the foothills of Appalachia, and recently my kids have returned there for college and I have felt inexplicably drawn to the area over and over as I travel to visit them. There is a mystery there in the hills that draws you in, and somehow McCrumb captures it. But McCrumb does more than just tell a story. She realizes we like to think of ourselves as progressive and moving forward - not backwoods any longer, but calls us to look at what is happening today, right now and ask "Are we really all that different?" Have we learned from our mistakes as a society, or more deeply within our culture?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This book was well-written in many ways, but was unfocused in its overall goal. The story of Frankie Silver would have made an interesting short story, but the author belabored every point. It's even challenging to describe the subplots because there were so many....the Harkryder story, the modern day double murder, the Waightstill murder trial, and at times it was difficult to follow. Spencer Arrowood's trek with Nora Bonesteel offered promise of interest, but was pedestrian and unfulfilling. I This book was well-written in many ways, but was unfocused in its overall goal. The story of Frankie Silver would have made an interesting short story, but the author belabored every point. It's even challenging to describe the subplots because there were so many....the Harkryder story, the modern day double murder, the Waightstill murder trial, and at times it was difficult to follow. Spencer Arrowood's trek with Nora Bonesteel offered promise of interest, but was pedestrian and unfulfilling. I had surmised Frankie's situation very early on in the book, not needing a soothsayer. Why a well-seasoned sheriff needed the help of a clairvoyant is unclear. If I were editor, I would have suggested the author parallel the Frankie Silver and Waightstill murder trials only. I believe it would have made a better story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    This book juxtaposes a factual 150 year old murder case and execution with a fictional contemporary case. The author states that the book is basically about poor people as defendants and rich people as attorneys, but I think that really the book is about the death penalty and how frighteningly imperfect our jury system can be. It's about justice and mercy and a code of honor that says that family is the most important thing in the world and that family members must be protected, no matter what. This book juxtaposes a factual 150 year old murder case and execution with a fictional contemporary case. The author states that the book is basically about poor people as defendants and rich people as attorneys, but I think that really the book is about the death penalty and how frighteningly imperfect our jury system can be. It's about justice and mercy and a code of honor that says that family is the most important thing in the world and that family members must be protected, no matter what. The case of Frankie Silver fascinated me so much that I spent an inordinate amount of time googling her case and studying maps and documents. The bottom line is that if I hadn't already been vehemently anti-death penalty, I probably would be after reading this book. It's a good one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I love this book. It was a summer reading for our school, and the author visited our school, but the kids never connected to this book. It's actually two stories in one: Frankie who is hanged in the 1830's for killing her husband and Harkrider in modern times who is being executed for killing two hikers on the Appalachian trail. I loved the multiple voices, the way the book makes me think about who we choose to execute and why (definitely shows racism, etc.). The book is crafted well. I love this book. It was a summer reading for our school, and the author visited our school, but the kids never connected to this book. It's actually two stories in one: Frankie who is hanged in the 1830's for killing her husband and Harkrider in modern times who is being executed for killing two hikers on the Appalachian trail. I loved the multiple voices, the way the book makes me think about who we choose to execute and why (definitely shows racism, etc.). The book is crafted well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Thought provoking book. This book was very telling in the way in which the court system worked in the 1800s and how similar things are (in some ways) today. The public still has a tendency to convict the innocent based on preconceived notions & opinions. This book is about a real "crime" that took place in North Carolina in the 1830s. Frankie Silver was the first woman to be executed in Burke County, North Carolina. This is an account of the events that lead to her execution. I loved it. Thought provoking book. This book was very telling in the way in which the court system worked in the 1800s and how similar things are (in some ways) today. The public still has a tendency to convict the innocent based on preconceived notions & opinions. This book is about a real "crime" that took place in North Carolina in the 1830s. Frankie Silver was the first woman to be executed in Burke County, North Carolina. This is an account of the events that lead to her execution. I loved it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Weinz

    Boring, boring, arid, colorless, bromidic, monotonous, insipid, prosaic, reptitious and BORING. Four different murder trials in four different eras and still the most arduous task chore of a book I've ever read. Boring, boring, arid, colorless, bromidic, monotonous, insipid, prosaic, reptitious and BORING. Four different murder trials in four different eras and still the most arduous task chore of a book I've ever read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janie Watts

    McCrumb's extensive research of the 1830s murder case, paralleled with a modern-day case, results in a brilliant, well-written story. Why she chose these two cases will be revealed in the end when the connection between the two defendants--separated by more than a century--is revealed. McCrumb's extensive research of the 1830s murder case, paralleled with a modern-day case, results in a brilliant, well-written story. Why she chose these two cases will be revealed in the end when the connection between the two defendants--separated by more than a century--is revealed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jay Wright

    How I love her writing. Two murders over 150 years apart and they have similarities. A good tale from my native Appalachia and you can always count on McCrumb. I would recommend this book to anyone since it is a good mystery.

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