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A collection of stories by

Penzler Pick, December 1999: As the editor of an annual series for Houghton Mifflin titled Best American Mystery Stories, I read scores, if not hundreds, of little magazines in search of the best crime fiction published that year. One story that came to light from the Texas Review was "Poachers" by Tom Franklin, which was easily the most original and memorable tale of 1998. It went on to win the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America and became the title of Franklin's first book, a short story collection of such distinction that it has already provided a shoo-in for spring 2000s Best American Mystery Stories of the Century.

"Poachers" is no ordinary tale of detection but a mood piece that will remind the reader of the best of James Lee Burke. Set in the swamps of the deep South, it is a riveting tale of three brothers who are so violent and amoral that they will kill anyone or anything in their path. One of their victims is a young lawman who was much loved, causing the locals to bring in their own hired gun, a game warden of legendary skill as a hunter of poachers. One by one, he tracks down the crazed brothers in a quest for justice.

The other stories in this beautifully produced little volume are also superb. While there is occasional humour, this is not a collection to read if you're in the mood for P G Wodehouse or Dave Barry. The dark woods and hollows, the unforgiving swamps and their inhabitants, do not make for a sun-shiny reading experience. --Otto Penzler

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Used availability for Tom Franklin's Poachers

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Hardback Editions

May 1999 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Poachers: Stories
Author(s): Tom Franklin
ISBN: 0-688-16740-3 / 978-0-688-16740-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 2000 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Poachers
Author(s): Tom Franklin
ISBN: 0-00-655226-9 / 978-0-00-655226-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

May 2000 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: Poachers: Stories
Author(s): Tom Franklin
ISBN: 0-688-17771-9 / 978-0-688-17771-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Poachers: Stories
Author(s): Tom Franklin
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

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