• Deer Creek Drive

  • A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta
  • By: Beverly Lowry
  • Narrated by: Beverly Lowry
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Deer Creek Drive  By  cover art

Deer Creek Drive

By: Beverly Lowry
Narrated by: Beverly Lowry
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Publisher's Summary

The stunning true story of a murder that rocked the Mississippi Delta and forever shaped one author’s life and perception of home.

In 1948, in the most stubbornly Dixiefied corner of the Jim Crow south, society matron Idella Thompson was viciously murdered in her own home: stabbed at least 150 times and left facedown in one of the bathrooms. Her daughter, Ruth Dickins, was the only other person in the house. She told authorities a Black man she didn’t recognize had fled the scene, but no evidence of the man's presence was uncovered. When Dickins herself was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, the community exploded. Petitions pleading for her release were drafted, signed, and circulated, and after only six years, the governor of Mississippi granted Ruth Dickins an indefinite suspension of her sentence and she was set free.

In Deer Creek Drive, Beverly Lowry—who was ten at the time of the murder and lived mere miles from the Thompsons’ home—tells a story of white privilege that still has ramifications today, and reflects on the brutal crime, its aftermath, and the ways it clarified her own upbringing in Mississippi.

Cover images: (pruning shears) Tragedy-of-the-Month, 1949, Triangle Publications, Inc.; (background) Special Collections, University of Mississippi Libraries

©2022 Beverly Lowry (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Mix together a bloody murder in a privileged white family, a false accusation against a Black man, a suspicious town, a sensational trial with colorful lawyers, and a punishment that didn’t fit the crime, and you have the best of southern gothic fiction. But the very best part is that the story is true.”—John Grisham 

“The Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, a gruesome murder mystery, family dramas that conjure Faulkner and Welty—this is a book that only Beverly Lowry, a daughter of the Delta, could bring to the world now. At once a thriller, a memoir and a portrait of a bygone South, Deer Creek Drive is a stunning valedictory from one of the region’s greatest living writers.”—Bryan Burrough, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate and Forget the Alamo 

“Beverly Lowry writes about some very grave things in Deer Creek Drive: matricide, deceit, greed, forbidden love, fury, bad luck and the world’s casual meanness. Yet with pure elan, she writes it truly, and with such astonishing wit and savvy that I couldn’t stop reading.”—Richard Ford 

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Pure racist self indulgent drivel

This was read by the author who did herself no favors by doing so. I support equality regardless of skin color. My folks came here in the 1700s and managed to not blame everybody for their circumstances. I encourage readers to skip this piece of junk.

2 people found this helpful

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I suffered thru this book

This book had potential for being a good book BUT it was all over the place. The book was supposed to be about a murder committed by a daughter on her mother in Leland Mississippi in 1948 but it switched between the murder and the author’s life as a child and teenager growing up in the same town. The first few chapters listed so many people that was related or worked with or who knew who I could not keep up with the characters. The author reads the book herself and it was so monotonous that I would fall asleep and then have to rewind and try to find my place again. After awhile I found that I just did not care one way or the other. This book focuses on several several topics from the murder, the family, the authors family, her friends , her accomplishments, to the Emmett Till murder. I can not say that I would recommend this book. If you wish to read about the murder and get the entire story in about 5 minutes look it up on Google- it will save you about 15 hours of your life.

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Frustrating. Sorry I paid for it.

I wonder how this got on Audible. It’s read by the author whose toothy spit and breathiness is incredibly distracting. Why didn’t a professional read it? It’s as if the book and the reading are just a vanity project, as much about the uninteresting author as the story I thought I was getting. The story is constantly interrupted with tales of the author’s parents bankruptcies, what they ate, and so on. If I wanted to hear a memoir, I’d have bought one. So many other great things to listen to, so disappointed I’m stuck with this self indulgent drivel.

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Great book!

I grew up in Leland although I wasn’t born until 1960. I couldn’t stop listening it was fascinating!

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Written by a journalist and it shows

The story, which could have been compelling, is drained of all lifeblood as only a reporter could do. Reads like, well, a newspaper.