The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery

The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery

4.3 49
by Nancy Allen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

To uncover the truth, she'll have to break the code of the hills …

In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.

When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to

Overview

To uncover the truth, she'll have to break the code of the hills …

In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.

When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.

But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.

While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance ...

A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter's Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke's thrillers.

Editorial Reviews

Hank Phillippi Ryan
“What a terrific book--strong, tough, smart and powerful. This compassionate and compelling mystery reveals the disturbing reality of one woman’s quest for justice--while a bleak and sinister culture tries to bury the truth.”
Frances Fyfield
“Highly recommended for terrific command of suspense, authenticity and utterly engaging central character, prosecutor Elsie . . . some of the best courtroom scenes I’ve ever read, some of the nastiest people encountered in fiction and for all that, it’s illuminated by passion and kindness . . . a truly marvelous debut.”
Mari Hannah
“An authentic legal thriller from an exciting new voice.”
Suspense Magazine
“The plot, characters, and dialogue are beyond riveting . . . the requisite thrills and chills, but also a nugget of hope for the many people in the world who are hurting, letting them know that the ‘good and brave’ still exist.”
Riverfront Times (St. Louis)
“A legal page-turner . . . think John Grisham meets Daniel Woodrell -- as Allen touches on the racism, poverty and sexism that are as much a part of the Ozarks as its rocky terrain. Her Elsie flies in the face of these local conventions.”
Fresh Fiction
“A powerfully intense courtroom mystery/drama that grasps readers’ interest from the first page and never lets up until the dynamic ending . . . an expertly convincing exposé . . . outstanding debut that should not be missed.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062325952
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/20/2014
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
534,138
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. A KILLING AT THE CREEK is her second novel.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 49 reviews.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In her debut novel, The Code Of The Hills, author Nancy Allen draws upon her professional legal experience to weave a riveting legal thriller that captivates the reader's attention from the very beginning. Set in the small town of Barton, Missouri, in the heart of the Ozarks, the reader follows Prosecutor Elsie Arnold as she aggressively pursues and brings to trial a high-profile incest case against a man who allegedly sexually abuses his three young daughters. The author easily draws the reader into the small town of Barton with its close-knit townspeople and its many dark secrets. As Elsie prepares to bring the case of the State of Missouri v. Kris Taney to trial, her investigation in the Taney family reveals a sinister code of silence, that puts her in danger for her own safety. The Code Of The Hills is a fast-paced, multi-layered, gripping, and complex story that has a great mixture of intrigue, romance, violence, and enough suspenseful twists and turns, and richly descriptive courtroom drama that will leave the reader breathless. The reader is taken on one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride as they follow Elsie on her difficult journey, she is determined to uncover the secrets and lies within the Taney family in a convincing and brutally honest style where no one is left unscathed.
MonicaFMF More than 1 year ago
Elsie is an Ozarks prosecutor who longs to seek justice for the victims. Now the Taney child abuse case has been dumped on her by her boss. As more and more evidence unfolds, what will be revealed? A complex and winding mystery guides the plot narrative with hints of romance, action, violence, and intrigue. Characters are varied, typically caring, authentic, and develop as the story progresses. Overall, a thrilling read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant at first because of the sensitive nature of the book. I get very emotional and queasy when it comes to harming children. This book got into just enough detail to let the reader know what it was about, but not so much into detail that it became gruesome and hard to read. This book was very well written and has a great structure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It was exciting from the first page all the way through. Prosecutor Elsie, with problems of her own, was the most interesting character. I really fell in love with her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me up all night. Gripping story, compelling characters, fascinating main character; prosecutor Elsie is full of flaws, but deeply committed to saving the victims of the crime. The book reminded me of John Grisham, but with female characters in the lead. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gteat book . Really enjoyed reading it. I do recommend it highly. I will be looking forward to her next one which is due out next Feb. I live in southern Mo.and she was spot on in so many things. Wonderful debut.
Kittycat2 More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent read. Well written. Couldn't put it down. Hope to read more by Nancy Allen. It was a great book for the first.
jojoLJ More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting story. The subject was a little different and this was a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Quickly became very involved with the characters in the book. Sad that these sorts of things really do happen but love how the author brought it all together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First novel? Wow. Great job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. I loved it! I hope there will be more books with Elsie, Ash & the rest.
madmaxine1 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. But as someone else mentioned, the foul language wasn't really necessary to the story. I enjoy a story much better without the bad language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although ficticious, some of the situations probably have occured in real life. This story revealed the difficuties attached to prosecuting violators of children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great summer read. Love the characters. Totally recommend this book.
CherylandMattD 6 months ago
This was one of the books that drew me in right away. I read the beginning and wanted to find out how it ended. There were a few parts that seemed to go on a little too long (her love life) and I wanted to find out what happened to the oldest girl (never really said). All in all, I did like the book a lot!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Excellent legal story.......father is on trial for molesting his daughters. Enough twists and turns to keep you reading. Slightly disappointed with ending, leaving, for me, some unanswered questions, but not enough to take away from the main story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Continue the character, but clean her up a little.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really felt the truth of the Ozarks in this book. Was rooting for a guilty verdict and felt the pain of the children. Great first novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I found it hard to put down. Being from Missouri, I enjoyed the references to The Ozarks. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to read. Exploitation of children. I geuss we all know of someone who has been thru it. The ones i know - had mental problems until the end of their lives. Sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast moving book. Looks at family problems that people don't want to hear or know about. Put together in and a way that makes you want to go on reading and reading, with logical and real possibilities and also pushing the limit a little to intrigue you.