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FIRST BOOK IN THE BELL ELKINS SERIES. Not bad for a first novel. I liked the main characters. The writing was a little uneven and read like a movie of the week. Kristi & Abby Tabby
Enjoying this series of an urban law grad returning to her home town in West virginia to be the county prosecutor.
I took this book out and read halfway through and realized that it was due in one day, tried to do a one day read a thon to get it finished since I wasn't able to renew it, and I just couldn't do it, there just isn't the "need" to finish it, it wasn't captivating enough. I may take it out another time to finish it, but if I can't to me it doesn't really matter. To me that's a sign that the book is just not captivating enough.
After reading these 7 or so valid comments, I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did. "Yes, but ..."
It's only recently that self-defense is a possible plea for killing one's abuser (not well phrased).
Set in the small, fictional town of Acker’s Gap, nestled among the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, A Killing in the Hills by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Julia Keller is a murder mystery that I fully expected to carry me away with it’s excellent writing and atmosphere. Unfortunately this wasn’t the book I was hoping for. This debut suffered from clichéd characters and a predictable plot. I actually preferred the side story to the main one.
Nice cover. UH HUH. This women's writing is like a squirrel crossing the road. How can a prosecuting attorney who claims to have come home to West Virginia to help the poverty stricken rural folks ,not attempt to get her sister Shirley out of jail for murdering her sexual abusive father. She's only been there for 29 years. It gets worse. There are so many southern crime writers who do so much better.
Reads like a Lifetime Movie script. When Bell fell into the arms of the handsome contractor she'd just met, all I could think was: romantic sequel!
This is not a good book, merely OK at best. The plot moves along at a good clip, but there's a cheat at the end because the big bad ends up being someone we had no way of guessing as there were absolutely no clues. As a matter of fact, the big bad is unbelievable as his identity comes out of nowhere.
The other problem is, the plot hinges on the daughter making a decision based on reasoning that doesn't fit at all with the characters' interactions. She really thinks her mother is going to get upset about her presence at a party when nothing else she does seems to get her mother riled up? She really thinks her mother is going to care about her presence at a party when daughter can ID the killer?
And the writing. Oh, my word, the writing is just not good. The author appears to be worried that she might be considered a genre hack for writing what might be considered a murder mystery and so devotes herself to larding the story with countless metaphors that add nothing but bulk. As an example, in describing fall leaves, the author writes, " ... crazy reds, headstrong yellows ...." What on earth does a shade of yellow have to do to be considered headstrong? Does it have to go to a party its mother disapproves of?
It's too bad the author had such literary pretensions as this could have been a good book if she'd had more self-respect and a better editor.
A incredibly well told story that has interesting characters that frustrate the reader and captivate them at the same time. Well written.
This is a wonderful first novel for this author. The main character is a strong female with a touching and heartbreaking back story. The exciting and suspenseful plot flows and once you start reading it is difficult to put down. I am looking forward to the 2nd book in this great series.
This is a suspense filled debut novel by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. At the start, Carla Elkins, the rebellious teen daughter of Bell Elkins, lead prosecutor of Raythune County, West Virginia, is waiting for her divorced mother at a fast food restaurant in Acker’s Gap when three old men are shot dead at a nearby table. She quickly realizes that she recognizes the killer, but doesn’t tell her mother or anyone else what she knows. Bell investigates the triple murder, and believes it is tied in some way to the growing illegal trafficking in prescription drugs in her county. The author, born and raised in West Virginia, fills this thoroughly enjoyable mystery with well detailed characters and vivid descriptions of the natural beauty of the Appalachians as well as the deep poverty.
Good book, not too heavy of a mystery. Hope there is a sequel, would like to read more about the 2 main characters.