Fog of Dead Souls: A Thriller [NOOK Book]

Overview

When college professor Ellie McKay walks into the Maverick Bar in Farmington, New Mexico, late one evening, she plans to get drunk, not engaged. But within thirty minutes, she’s met cowboy Al Robison, he’s proposed to her, and she’s accepted. Al only knows that Ellie is attractive, vulnerable, and single; he doesn’t know that she has been on the run for weeks from a sociopath who killed her surgeon boyfriend in Pennsylvania and raped and ...
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Fog of Dead Souls: A Thriller

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Overview

When college professor Ellie McKay walks into the Maverick Bar in Farmington, New Mexico, late one evening, she plans to get drunk, not engaged. But within thirty minutes, she’s met cowboy Al Robison, he’s proposed to her, and she’s accepted. Al only knows that Ellie is attractive, vulnerable, and single; he doesn’t know that she has been on the run for weeks from a sociopath who killed her surgeon boyfriend in Pennsylvania and raped and tortured her.

Reeling from the ordeal and deeply scarred emotionally and physically, Ellie flees first to Paris, where she seeks refuge in the bottle. Then, coming to her senses, she returns to Pittsburgh to resume her life and her career, believing she will be safe there. When that proves untrue, she takes to the road, no longer caring much what happens to her.

Ellie’s escape route leads her to Santa Fe and then north to Farmington, where Al seems the safest bet. When she says yes to Al’s proposal, she knows only that he is a local rancher. She doesn’t know about Al’s own dark past, and she doesn’t tell him that her heart belongs to Doug Hansen, the detective who originally investigated the case.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
Ellie McKay tries to escape her brutal past only to find it following her in Kelly’s uneven debut. After being tied up, tortured, and raped, 60-year-old Ellie regains consciousness in a hotel room in Gettysburg, Pa., to find her lover, Joel Richardson, dead. Kelly tacks back and forth between Ellie’s past as a college professor of French and her present attempts to outrun her troubles, first with a visit to Paris and later with a road trip out west, where she meets rancher Al Robison in a bar and marries him on an impulse. Doug Hansen, the investigating detective in Gettysburg, has also fallen for Ellie, increasing his determination as he chases down leads. Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Ellie and leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. The unbelievable plot line is likely to take readers out of the story, robbing Kelly’s thriller of much suspense. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Kelly’s heroine is a refreshing sixty-year-old woman portrayed as an intelligent, desirable individual, and the men in Ellie’s life are also attractive, mature men; this age bracket is sorely neglected in much of modern literature. . . . This is a solid book. Told mostly in alternating chapters, readers will find Kelly’s work engaging. Fresh, compelling writing throughout." — Kirkus

"Kelly has created a dark, taut, character-driven novel that cracks the masks of relationships and shatters the heart with doubt." — S. M. Harding, Writing Murder: A Basic Guide to Writing Mystery Fiction

"Fog of Dead Souls is a layered thriller, rich with atmosphere, and with no shortage of mystery and police procedure. Deftly weaving together past and present, Jill Kelly creates a convincing portrait of a protagonist damaged yet unbroken by a terrible crime, a woman determined to move on with her life after unspeakable tragedy. If you're looking for a serial killer story with characters detailed and authentic enough to step right off the page, this one's for you." — James Hankins, author of Brothers and Bones and Jack of Spades

"Fog of Dead Souls is a twisting, suspenseful, and heartfelt book about real people facing the darkest and cruelest of mysteries. But the story is also shot through with hope, and when you tear through the final agonizing pages, you'll know you've been in the hands of a great storyteller, someone whose work reminds me a lot of Dean Koontz. Jill Kelly is the real deal and this is a riveting read." — David Bell, author of Never Come Back

"A chameleon of a novel, this meticulously planned thriller evolves into a spiritual quest, and kept me guessing with every page turn." — Ruth Dugdall, author of The Woman Before Me

"When I read Jill Kelly’s memoir, Sober Truths, a few years ago, it was tough and uncompromising. I expected no less from her novel, Fog of Dead Souls. She has indeed delivered a taut, suspenseful read that had me guessing until the last few pages. I appreciate that the main characters are of a certain age, as well. You don’t have to be young to be strong and smart." — Ed Goldberg, award-winning author of the Detective Lenny Schneider series

"A dark and disturbing thriller, and I loved every bit of it! The characters are three-dimensional and complex, and the story, which weaves the past with the present, is perfectly paced. A rock solid debut that kept me guessing right up until the very end." — Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep and Freak

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-23
Kelly (Sober Truths, 2013, etc.) presents the story of a woman whose path in life takes an unexpected and vicious turn when she becomes the victim of a brutal crime. Ellie McKay holds a doctorate in French literature and teaches at a college in Pittsburgh. Her boyfriend, Joel Richardson, is a handsome and well-regarded trauma surgeon. The couple seems an unlikely target for a vicious assault, yet Ellie awakens to find Joel dead and herself beaten and raped by an unknown assailant, and survival suddenly becomes her primary goal in life. At first, Ellie thinks she's trying to survive only the emotional and physical damage she's suffered, but soon, it becomes apparent that the psychopath who perpetrated the assault is still tracking her. As more details emerge from a police investigation, Ellie takes to the road to forget about her experience. She goes to Paris, but upon her return, other events force her to leave again. When she travels to New Mexico, she meets Al, a handsome but lonely rancher who proposes as soon as they meet. She accepts, and a new chapter in her life begins—or does it? The person who savaged her in the first place is still out there, somewhere, and it doesn't look like he's giving up. Kelly's heroine is a refreshing 60-year-old woman portrayed as an intelligent, desirable individual, and the men in Ellie's life are also attractive, mature men; this age bracket is sorely neglected in much of modern literature. Although the title is fairly enigmatic, and there's the occasional clumsy passage, this is a solid book. Told mostly in alternating chapters that trace the genesis of the crime and Ellie's flight to New Mexico, as well as her present-day marriage to Al, readers will find Kelly's work engaging. Fresh, compelling writing throughout, although the ending seems a bit hurried and contrived.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781629141428
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 100,369
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jill Kelly is a writer, visual artist, creativity coach, and freelance editor. A long-time college professor of literature, she has been writing and publishing since 2002. Her memoir, Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman, was a finalist for the prestigious Oregon Book Award. When she’s not offering creativity workshops and leading writing retreats around the country, she’s usually in her studio, where she creates deep-color pastels. This is her second novel and first thriller. Jill resides in Portland, Oregon.
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