BENEATH STILL WATERS: A Novel ~Cynthia A. Graham
“As a child, Cynthia A. Graham spent every weekend and vacation in the cotton belt of Missouri where she grew to love the mystery and beauty of the stark, delta plane. Today, Cynthia lives in St. Louis where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a B.A. in English. She has won several awards for her short stories and has been published in both university and national literary publication. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild. ~BENEATH STILL WATERS is her first novel.” (Cover)
Hick Blackburn has returned from World War II and has been elected Sheriff of Cherokee Crossing, Arkansas. He is having a difficult time returning to his hometown and letting go of the war. At 22 he is doing his very best, although he is missing his father very much. His father the Principal of the local school was someone who Hick admired and learned from; his father died while he was off fighting.
In this small town there are lots of stories and as we mature we have to learn to let go of what we learned as a child and see the moments of reality. This is quite a study of the good and evil within people and how they use their lives to make decisions.
Two young boys fishing at the slough find a headless baby, Sheriff Blackburn has to put all his skills into play to solve this mystery. He does not have computers or databases or even DNA testing. Who is this child and what is the story behind her death? This event raises the spectrum of atrocities, which he witnessed during the war and causes grief and nightmares.
There is not much work in this town and the secondary characters are not as detailed as Blackburn. Their stories begin to fall into place during the twists as the end of the story unfolds. The author has certainly caught the small town, southern mentality and the mythology, which can often hold a place together. The ignorance of the community and the smallness of thinking is well exerted in the story and I found it hardly different years and years later when I was living in the area. Beautiful part of the country and the author shares the story well
A good read and a good escape into another time period and human interaction. Although a mystery is solved, the book is a bigger look at human behavior and the trauma of war.
TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review and I enjoyed the read very much.