John Armistead

Carroll & Graf, 1996

Cruel as the Grave

Book Description
The killing of Naresse Clouse, mother of four, was the stuff of nightmares. The pretty restaurant hostess was shot, stabbed, and left hanging in a rural barn, where some said she was meeting a lover. Three years later her killer has not been found, but no one in Sheffield, Mississippi, has forgotten her, including Sheriff Grover Bramlett....
Bramlett loves his wife of thirty-seven years, down-home cooking, painting watercolors, and his job. He keeps tabs on the country roads of Chakchiuma County, rich folks as well as poor, and the hot emotions that have sirens screaming in the night. But when a middle-aged salesman is gunned down, Bramlett is surprised to find the man had been asking about Naresse. That link sends Bramlett back over ground he'd covered before, unearthing a dirty little secret, digging deeper into witnesses' memories, and heading for the dangerous territory where race, passion, and hatred meet and a ruthless killer waits.

Ingram
"Bramlett keeps tabs on the country roads of Chakchiuma County, rich folks as well as poor, white as well as black. When a salesman is gunned down in the sleepy town of Sheffield, the sheriff digs into clues that connect the victim to an unsolved murder case that has perplexed Bramlett for three years. Digging deeper into witnesses' memories, Bramlett heads for the dangerous territory where race, passion, and hatred meet and a ruthless killer awaits."

"Armistead beautifully portrays a small place where it's very hard to keep a secret outside the grave."
--The Washington Times

"A real page-turner."
--Booklist

"[Armistead] writes damn good mysteries."
--Biloxi Sun Herald [Miss

Reviews

Selected Works

Fiction
A Sheriff Grover Bramlett mystery
A Sheriff Grover Bramlett mystery
A Sheriff Bramlett mystery
Young adult fiction
A thirteen-year-old boy in Alabama visits his grandmother and learns about the violence of racism.
A thirteen-year-old boy is caught up in the violence of Mississippi in the summer of 1964.