Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller

The small West Virginia town of Acker's Gap is shaken when someone opens fire in a local restaurant and kills three men.  Carla, the teenage daughter of Bell Elkins (Raythune County's prosecuting attorney), happens to be a witness to the murders.  Bell worries about Carla's well-being, especially since their relationship has been rocky lately. Bell does have a reason to be concerned-- Carla soon realizes that she saw the killer at a party months ago and that she can probably trace who he is.  She opts not to tell Bell and go it alone, putting herself in over her head.  Meanwhile, Bell, working alongside Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, tries to uncover if the shooting was random or if someone wanted all three victims dead.  Bell also is faced with a trauma from her own childhood when she learns that her sister, who's in prison and has refused contact with Bell for years, is up for parole.  A Killing in the Hills looks to be the beginning of a new mystery series.  I really enjoyed the setting and the characters.  A good readalike would be the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Doiron.  It will be published next month.

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