Although I guess this novel is technically a mystery, it feels less like one than most. It's gritty, harsh and honest-- you are in the Ozarks living this teenager's life, feeling her emotional and physical hurts. And because it's written by a man from that part of the country, you are more willing to believe that this torturous existence and the society that surrounds it are true-to-life.
I wonder how Woodrell would do on books not set in the Ozarks, because the book would be nothing without that. Of course, I'm perfectly fine with him keeping on in this vein. What's the oft-used phrase? "Write what you know."
If only I could figure out how the blue bag fit into the picture-- is this a plot hole on Woodrell's part, or am I just missing something? (I paged through twice after finishing.)