A Killing in the Hills (Bell Elkins Series #1)

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Overview

In A Killing in the Hills, a powerful, intricate debut from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter.  Was ...

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A Killing in the Hills (Bell Elkins Series #1)

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Overview

In A Killing in the Hills, a powerful, intricate debut from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter.  Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?

One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.

After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end up doing more harm than good—in fact, putting her own life in danger?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Keller's outstanding first novel, 17-year-old Carla Elkins is waiting for her divorced mother, Bell Elkins, Raythune County's prosecuting attorney, at the Salty Dawg, a chain restaurant in Acker's Gap, W.Va., when three old men are shot dead at a nearby table. Carla catches only a glimpse of the killer at the Salty Dawg's entrance before he flees. Bell, who's been crusading with the local sheriff against the growing illegal traffic in prescription drugs and the violence it spawns, investigates the triple slaying, as does rebellious Carla. Meanwhile, the drug boss orders the assassin to kill the meddling prosecutor. Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. Some characters turn out to be better than they appear, some much worse, but the ensemble cast is unforgettable. So is this novel. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A Killing in the Hills superbly evokes the hard times and wooded beauty of a poverty-stricken county in West Virginia. . .A finely written and engrossing debut."

Houston Chronicle

A Killing In The Hills is a gripping, beautifully-crafted murder mystery that shows that small-town West Virginia is no longer Mayberry. Great reading.”

—SCOTT TUROW

“Julia Keller is that rare talent who combines gripping suspense, a fabulous sense of place and nuanced characters you can't wait to come back to. A must read.”

—KARIN SLAUGHTER

A Killing in the Hills is a remarkably written and remarkably tense debut. I loved it.”

—DENNIS LEHANE

"Julia Keller's A Killing in the Hills is a terrific debut—atmospheric, suspenseful, assured. I hope there's more to come in the story of Bell Elkins and Acker's Gap."

—LAURA LIPPMAN

"Be careful opening this book because once you do you won't be able to close it. Instead, clear the weekend, silence the phone and settle into Acker's Gap, a place as fascinating and fraught with violence and beauty as Daniel Woodrell's Ozarks or William Gay's Tennessee. A killer novel."

—TOM FRANKLIN

“Outstanding. . .Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. . .Unforgettable.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)

"A page-turner with substance and depth, this is as suspenseful and entertaining as it is accomplished."

Booklist (starred review)

“A fictional debut for a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, born and raised in West Virginia, whose love for the state, filled with natural beauty and deep poverty, pervades a mystery that has plenty of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion.”

Kirkus (starred review)

Library Journal
The shocking opening of Keller's debut—the point-blank fatal shooting of three old men at a fast-food joint in rural West Virginia—will jerk unsuspecting readers out of their complacency. Carla, the adolescent daughter of the county's lead prosecutor, Belfa "Bell" Elkins, witnesses the shooting, but with the logic of a teenager, she doesn't tell anyone what she knows. Bell, an intensely driven loner, senses that this killing ties in with the wave of drug crimes threatening to overwhelm her county. She must also wrestle with another troubling case involving a developmentally disabled young man accused of murdering his friend. While Bell tears all over the county questioning people, Carla's lies of omission come to haunt her. VERDICT Keller's vividly described characters and shifting points of view make this debut novel especially realistic. Occasionally, a plot thread peters out (e.g., where did all the reporters go?), but the story is so engrossing that pages just fly by. Keller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, neatly straddles the line between moralizing and storytelling with this superbly detailed and suspense-drenched mystery. Share with Linda Fairstein, Meg Gardiner, and Lisa Gardner fans.
Kirkus Reviews
A tough prosecutor who's trying to make a difference in the lives of West Virginians suddenly finds her own life in shambles. Whatever plans Bell Elkins made for herself as a child growing up near the town of Acker's Gap ended when her older sister killed their father. From that point on, Bell was brought up in various foster homes. After intelligence and determination got her through law school, she and her husband, fellow attorney Sam Elkins, found high-paying jobs in Washington until Bell, tired of their shallow lifestyle, returned with their daughter Carla to West Virginia. When Carla, who's changed from a delightful little girl to a sulky teen, witnesses the murder of three old men at a local fast-food joint, her love-hate relationship with Bell becomes worse, especially since she recognizes the killer as someone she saw at an alcohol- and drug-laced party she can't mention to her mother. Bell and her longtime friend Sheriff Nick Fogelsong have been fighting a losing battle against the drug kingpin whose dealers are feasting on the misery of the poor and often desperate population. So it's only natural that they suspect these killings are drug-related. In addition, Bell has to decide if she wants to prosecute a mentally challenged young man accused of killing a child he often played with. Even with her own life in danger, Bell won't back down. A fictional debut for a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, born and raised in West Virginia, whose love for the state, filled with natural beauty and deep poverty, pervades a mystery that has plenty of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion.
From the Publisher
A Killing In The Hills is a gripping, beautifully-crafted murder mystery that shows that small-town West Virginia is no longer Mayberry. Great reading.”—SCOTT TUROW

“Julia Keller is that rare talent who combines gripping suspense, a fabulous sense of place and nuanced characters you can't wait to come back to. A must read.”—KARIN SLAUGHTER

A Killing in the Hills is a remarkably written and remarkably tense debut. I loved it.”—DENNIS LEHANE

"Julia Keller's A Killing in the Hills is a terrific debut—atmospheric, suspenseful, assured. I hope there's more to come in the story of Bell Elkins and Acker's Gap."—LAURA LIPPMAN

"Be careful opening this book because once you do you won't be able to close it. Instead, clear the weekend, silence the phone and settle into Acker's Gap, a place as fascinating and fraught with violence and beauty as Daniel Woodrell's Ozarks or William Gay's Tennessee. A killer novel."—TOM FRANKLIN

“A twisty plot—and a soulful depiction of a beautiful, besieged “afterthought of a town”—propels this debut mystery.”—People Magazine

“Keller perfectly captures the ennui of a community paralyzed by poverty and despair, and the pride of people who refuse to succumb to the insidiousness of drugs. . .A powerful debut.”—Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Outstanding. . .Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. . .Unforgettable.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)

“A fictional debut for a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, born and raised in West Virginia, whose love for the state, filled with natural beauty and deep poverty, pervades a mystery that has plenty of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion.”—Kirkus (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250003485
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Series: Bell Elkins Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JULIA KELLER was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Chicago and Ohio.  In her career as a journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a three-part series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune about a small town in Illinois rocked by a deadly tornado. A Killing in the Hills is her first mystery.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The old men sat around the little plastic table in the crowded restaurant, a trio of geezers in shiny black jackets, mumbling, chuckling, shaking their heads and then blowing across the tops of their brown cardboard cups of coffee, pushing out their flabby pink old-man lips to do so. Then sipping. Then blowing again.

Jesus, Carla thought. What a bunch of losers.

Watching them made her feel, in every restless inch of her seventeen-year-old body, so infinitely superior to these withered fools and their pathetic little rituals that she was pretty sure it showed; she was fairly certain her contempt was half visible, rising from her skin in a skittish little shimmer. The late-morning sunshine flooding in through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls made everything look sharper, rawer, the edges more intense. You couldn’t hide a thing in here.

She would remember this moment for the rest of her life. Because it was the marker. The line.

Because at this point, she would realize later, these three old men had less than a minute to live.

One of them must’ve told a joke, because now his two buddies laughed—it sounded, Carla thought, like agitated horses, it was a kind of high-pitched, snorting, snickery thing—and they all shuffled their feet appreciatively under the table. They were flaky-bald, too, and probably incontinent and impotent and incoherent and all the rest of it.

So what’s left? That’s what Carla was wondering. After you hit forty, fifty, sixty, what’s the freakin’ point anymore, anyway?

Slumped forward, skinny elbows propped on the top of her very own little plastic table, Carla used the heel of her right hand to push a crooked slab of straight dark hair up and off her forehead. Her other hand cradled her chin.

Her nose ring itched. Actually, everything itched. Including her thoughts.

This place was called the Salty Dawg. It was a regional chain that sold burgers and fries, shakes and malts, and biscuits topped with slabs of ham or chicken and a choice of gravy: red-eye or sausage. But it didn’t sell hot dogs, which at least would’ve justified the stupid name, a charmless bit of illogic that drove Carla crazy whenever she came in here and slid into one of the crappy plastic chairs bolted to the greasy floor. If she didn’t have to, she’d never be wasting her time in this joint, and she always wondered why anybody ever came in here willingly.

Then she remembered. If you were an old fart, they gave you your coffee at a discount.

So there you go. There’s your reason to live. You get a dime off your damned coffee. Freaks.

Carla was vaguely ashamed of the flicks of menace that roved randomly across her mind, like a street gang with its switchblades open. She knew she was being a heartless bitch—but hell, they were just thoughts, okay? It’s not like she’d ever say anything rude out loud.

She was bored, though, and speculating about the old farts was recreational.

To get a better look, without being totally obvious about it, she let her head loll casually to one side, like a flower suddenly too heavy for its stalk, and narrowed and shifted her eyes, while keeping her chin centered in her palm.

Now the old men were laughing again. They opened their mouths too wide, and she could see that some of their teeth were stained a weird greenish yellow-brown that looked like the color of the lettuce she’d sometimes find way in the back of the fridge, the kind her mom bought and then forgot about. It was, Carla thought with a shudder of oddly pleasurable repugnance, the Official Color of Old Man Teeth.

She didn’t know any of them. Or maybe she did. All old men looked alike, right? And old towns like the one she lived in—Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, or as Carla and her friends preferred to call it, The Middle of Freakin’ Nowhere—were filled with old men. With interchangeable old farts. It was just another crappy fact she had to deal with in her crappy life, on her way to what was surely an even crappier future.

Her thoughts had been leaning that way all morning long, leaning toward disgust and despair, and the constant proximity of gross old men in the Salty Dawg was one of the reasons why.

Another was that her mother was late to pick her up.

Again.

So Carla was pissed.

They had agreed on 11 A.M. It was now 11:47. And no sign of good old Mom, who also wasn’t answering her cell. Carla Elkins was forced to sit here, getting free refills on her Diet Coke and playing with her french fries, pulling them out of the red cardboard ark one by one and stacking them up like tiny salty Lincoln Logs. Building a wall. A fort, maybe. A greasy little fort. She’d just had her nails done the day before over at Le Salon, and the black polish—she was picking up another french fry now, and another, and another, and another, while her other hand continued to prop up her chin—looked even blacker by contrast with the washed-out beige of each skinny french fry.

Her mother hated black nail polish, which was why Carla chose it. She wasn’t crazy about it herself, but if it pissed off her mom, she’d make the sacrifice.

The Salty Dawg was right down the street from the Acker’s Gap Community Resource Center—the RC, everybody called it—which was a long, square, flat-roofed dump of a place with ginormous plate-glass windows cut into three sides of the icky yellow brick. Somebody’d once told Carla that, a million years ago, the RC had been a Ford dealership.

That was Acker’s Gap for you: Everything had once been something else. There was nothing new. Nothing fresh or different. Ever.

She had to endure her court-mandated Teen Anger Management Workshop at the RC on Saturday mornings, 8:00 to 10:30, during which time the counselor would go around the circle and ask each of them what she or he was feeling. What I’m feeling, Carla wanted to say, is that this is a lame-ass way to spend a Saturday morning. But she didn’t. Usually, when her turn came, she just scooted a little bit forward and a little bit back on the chair’s tiny wheels and stared at her black fingernails and mumbled, I’m, um, feeling kind of mixed up inside. Her friend Lonnie Prince had told her once that adults want to hear that kind of thing, so that they can nod and look all concerned and show that they remember how hard it is to be a teenager, even though it was, like, a thousand years ago.

The counselor always dismissed them right at 10:30. On the dot. He didn’t want to spend one more minute with them than they wanted to spend with him. Half an hour after that, her mother was supposed to pick her up at the Salty Dawg. Her mother’s office was just up the street, in the county courthouse, and she was working this Saturday, so it was a good plan.

Except that her mother was late. Again.

A shriek sliced through the room. It startled Carla, making her fingers twitch, which in turn caused her to demolish one entire wall of Fort French Fry.

Her head whipped around. A little girl and a man—surely the kid’s father, Carla thought, because they looked alike, they both had broad, squashed-looking noses and stick-straight, dirty-blond hair—were sitting across from each other in a booth in the corner. The little girl was screaming and pounding the tabletop with a pair of fat pink fists, flinging her head back and forth. The dad, meanwhile, his white shirtsleeves rolled up to reveal a pair of aggressively hairy forearms, was leaning across the table, clutching a chicken biscuit with most of its yellow wrapper removed. His face was frozen in a hopeful, slightly crazed-looking smile. The girl, though—she was four, maybe five—was ignoring him and instead just kept screaming and jerking her head around. Threads of dirty-blond hair were stuck in the snot ejected by her nose in two bright tubes of ooze.

The father was panicky, confused, desperate. Gotta be a divorced dad, Carla surmised. Gotta be some asshole out to bank some kid time on the weekend. He was clearly a rookie. An amateur. He made cooing sounds, trying to do something, anything, that would stop the ferocious yowling.

Give it up, dude, Carla thought.

She knew all about part-time dads who wanted to make up for everything in a few short hours on a Saturday morning at the Salty Dawg. She could’ve written a handbook. Offered tips. She could’ve told this jerk that he’d blown it by starting to unwrap the chicken biscuit for his daughter. Never, never, never. The more wounded the little girl was, the more blindsided by the divorce, the more she’d want to do everything by herself from now on. It was survival instinct. She was in training. Getting ready for the day when Daddy Dearest didn’t come around so much anymore.

Carla’s attention swiveled back to the three old men. They were still laughing, still making those horrible old-man-laughing sounds that came out like a whiny scritchy-scratch. One of them was using the back of his brown-spotted hand to dab at a happy tear that was leaking out of his disgusting-looking runny eye. After the dab he reared back his head and peered at that hand, like he wondered how he’d gotten the wet spot on it.

She saw the three old men in their matching black jackets, laughing, mouths open, faces pleated.

She saw them savoring their little joke.

Then she saw them die.

Pock

Pock

Pock

One shot per head.

By the time a startled Carla let go of the french fry she was holding—she’d been rebuilding Fort French Fry from scratch—the three old men were gone.

One slumped onto the little beige tabletop, knocking over his coffee. Blood and coffee, commingled, sloshed across the beveled edge. The friend sitting to his left had been smacked out of the seat by the force of the shot and deposited on the floor, faceup, his eyes and his nose replaced by a frilly spray of pink and gray. The third old man had rocked back in his chair, arms flung out to either side. A portion of his forehead was missing.

Carla turned toward the door.

She saw—she thought she saw—the blur of an arm sweeping up with a flourish, a wild arc, dramatic, like in a movie, and at the end of the arm, a ridged chip of dark gray, an angled chunk of metal, dull gray, not shiny, and her gaze shifted and she saw—she thought she saw—a skinny face, two tiny eyes, pig eyes, Carla thought, it looks like a pig’s eyes, pink and tiny, and the arm sweeping back down again.

Another frantic blur, and the glass double doors flapped back and forth and back and forth in a diminishing swish. Then the doors were still.

Now the other customers realized what had just happened.

And that’s when the screaming started.

Copyright © 2012 by Julia Keller

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(5)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    This would have been a much better read had there not been so mu

    This would have been a much better read had there not been so much foul language. I think a good novel can be written without swearing and cursing.

    19 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Excellent book

    This book had everything.....a great plot, likeable characters, etc. It was a book that kept me interested from beginning to end. Loved it!

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2013

    Highly Recommended!!

    As a native of the southern coalfields of West Virginia, I was drawn to the title and I was not disappointed. I could not stop reading. The descriptions of the mountains, culture, economics and the people were on target. The coal trucks, road conditions and coal dust added to the reality of the situation. I hope to read more in this series.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Bell Elkins grew up in Acker's Gap, West Virginia. After a tragi

    Bell Elkins grew up in Acker's Gap, West Virginia. After a tragic
    upbringing that includes a fire and the death of her father, she then
    goes from foster home to foster home. She goes away to college, gets
    married and has a child. She feels drawn to return to Acker's Gap to
    make a difference. Her marriage falls apart and she takes her daughter
    home to West Virginia. She runs and is elected prosecuting attorney for
    Raythune County. The county has a serious drug problem and Bell is
    determined to clean up the county. While Bell is working on another
    tragic case where a child was killed she learns that 3 elderly men have
    been gunned down in a local diner. The same diner where her now 17 year
    old daughter Carla was waiting for her Bell to her up. The eatery was
    full of witnesses but it happened so fast no one really saw the shooter.
    Why were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted? Was it
    random? Drug related? Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw,
    but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she
    might be able to help her mother do her job. Bell vows to find and bring
    the killer to justice not knowing her daughter may already know who he
    is or that Carla may be putting herself in danger to help her. A Great
    Debut to a new series!! Julie Keller has created some wonderfully
    flawed characters and set them loose in West Virginia. This first story
    has more than one mystery for readers to follow and she has woven them
    together seamlessly. We learn about Belfa's (yes, that her real name)
    past and her dysfunctional family that made her the woman she is today.
    A young boy is killed and Bell has to decide how to move forward
    charging a mentally challenged 28 year old. Three elderly residents are
    gunned down by an unknown assailant. Add to that Bell's teenage daughter
    going through normal growing pains and then she witnesses this terrible
    shooting. Bell has a true friend in the sheriff and he is there to walk
    with her through the mayhem and he does his best to protect her. I love
    the meetings over pieces of pie as they try to sort out the clues. Last
    one to arrive buys the pie! Bell has a lot on her plate besides her job
    a prosecuting attorney for the county. Her sister has just been paroled
    from prison and her daughter would rather be living with her dad. With
    this a foundation has been laid for the series moving forward. Bell is a
    strong woman with a noble agenda that will probably get her in lot of
    trouble. One of my favorite parts of this story was Bell driving in the
    mountains to question the mother of the mentally challenged suspect. The
    author's description of the winding roads, cliff drop offs, up and down
    the mountains, made me feel like I was right in the vehicle holding on
    for dear life. Extra tension was added when she was being followed. It
    was a white knuckle moment holding on to my kindle as I couldn't read
    the pages fast enough. I am looking forward to my return to this
    "shabby afterthought of a town". If you are a mystery lover
    you too will enjoy this story.

    9 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2013

    WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY IN GODS NAME WHEN ITS SAYS CUSTOMER R

    WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHY IN GODS NAME WHEN ITS SAYS CUSTOMER REVIEW PEOPLE LIKE DOLLYCAS (8-27-201) WHY 
    DO U HAVE TO WRITE A DAME BOOK ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  U TAKE UP THE ENTIRE PAGE FOR GODS SAKE/  SAY YES IT WAS GOOD
    OR NO I DIDN'T ENJOY THE OOK/ YES IT PISSES ME OFF THAT U WRITE AN ETIRE BOOK ON HOW YOU FEEL /  GET OVER IT GIRL

    6 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2013

    Good mystery, lots of plot lines going on, but not so many as to

    Good mystery, lots of plot lines going on, but not so many as to be distracting.  Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down.  Hope to see more of the folks from Ackers Gap!  

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    Keller writes a beautiful novel complete with dimensional charac

    Keller writes a beautiful novel complete with dimensional characters and riveting scenes. I could fell the gentle strength of Belfa and the tenacious hold on Link Fogelsong. Why do people turn to crime is a question with many layers, and Keller addresses several of the reasons in her novel. The people of Acker's Gap are pitiful and wonderful in different degrees. A small community knows all the personal secrets, but individuals lack the gumption for involvement. The only concern rests with the electrician that comes to review his work. I see no relevance in this character other than a love interest in a later novel. I also feel that the emotions between Bell and Carla, and between Bell and her sister are too mellow. Where are the heat and the frustration?

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Dollycas ruined this book with review.

    Dollycas ruined this book with her plot spoiling review. If I wanted crib notes I would have bought them. She should be ashamed. I started to read this, but found she had given every iota of the book away. There is a lot of cursing and violence in this book. For adults.

    AD

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Could have been....

    This could have been a very good book. The writing was good, the story was good, but the author, a WV native really gave her native state a slap in the face. I'm a native West Virginian, too, and I see beauty in our state; and, healthy, intelligent people. This book depicts the state so stereotypically poor, ignorant, dirty, run down and hopeless with no redeeming qualities. That is lazy writing. I don't recommend this book.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Excellent story!

    Excellent book! I couldnt put it dowm!




    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Dollycas

    Please bn. Cant something be done to plot spoilers like dollycas who give away every detail of the book? Why bother buying the book why rude posters like her reveal every detail? Please ban these hateful posters.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    This book was great, kept you reading and not wanting to put the

    This book was great, kept you reading and not wanting to put the book down. I REALLY enjoyed it and glad she is making a series of it. This author is going to go real far, as she writes a book that keeps your interest and keeps you in suspense

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A really good book!! a page turner in the hills of West Virgini

    A really good book!! a page turner in the hills of West Virginia that has everything. The characters are unique and likable - the cultural climate is riviting - the cases are not typical whodunnits - the drug traffic theme seems realistic. I hope. Julia Keller will write more mysteries.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    One would like an honest review

    These including journal and blubs seem to be found of foul language unpleasant people and unpleasant situations as being "a good book" if they plan to buy not borrow and re read i am very sorry for them that they have had such little choice in books that this is good

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Loved it!

    I really, really loved this book. I'm glad I chose to read the first one in the series before reading the newest one. This is a great look into amodern day way of dealing with a lot of small town issues.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Recommend for easy reading

    For readers who enjoy small towns and mountains. It was interesting and I will read more by this author, if her characters continue to grow.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    A well written mystery novel set in Appalachia

    A nice tightly written mystery novel that does not reveal the mastermind of the events to the very end though Carla, Bell's daughter, is something of a stereo-type and I would have preferred that Tom,the mastermind, would have been required to stand trial.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    This was an engaging read. Not my usual fare, but I liked the w

    This was an engaging read. Not my usual fare, but I liked the writing style and the story was strong enough to keep me interested. I'd read another book by this author, definitely.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommend. Hard to put down!

    Highly recommend. A good mystery. Hard to put down!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Awesome

    Very good was not disapointed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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