"Bottomland does for Franklin what Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil did for Savannah--it reveals the Gothic side of a quiet, picturesque Southern town."
Based on actual events, Bottomland is the story of the murder of a young woman in Franklin, Tennessee. Set in 1953, it explores the social mores of the town itself and the personalities of all involved, from the townspeople, to the police, to the killers.
Told from the perspective of a 17-year-old high school senior who has just fallen in love for the first time, Bottomland reflects Franklin's evolution from the Civil War through World War II and segregation, while chronicling the narrator's family history and coming of age. The story unfolds over the four day period during which the the body and the perpetrators remain unidentified.
Bottomland unearths the mystery of a murder and subsequent sentencing that--while sensational in its time--is largely unknown today.
"Holt's character-work is first-class, and his clever, authentic-sounding Southern dialogue is full of life and character... Beautiful, evocative descriptive passages drift through the narrative. He also has a great talent for quick, memorable character sketches... As a true-crime buff, I'd never heard of the real-life case this is based on before.... There is surprisingly little that has been written about the case] beyond Holt's splendid book." --The Reader in the Tower