False accusations

The horrors of lynching: The Trees, by Percival Everett, reviewed

Percival Everett’s 22nd novel The Trees was that rare thing on this year’s Booker shortlist: a genre novel. Only which genre? Crime is its first claimant – the bickering Bryants of Money, Mississippi having stumbled straight off an Elmore Leonard page. Then it’s horror – the obscenity of the first Bryant death rivalling the grisliest of Stephen King. Then, with the flummoxing custody-elusion of the black suspect, it’s a locked room mystery. Then, with the arrival of two wisecracking black cops from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Blaxploitation takes over. But the book is more than just an exercise in genre-hopping. Money, Mississippi was where 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched