A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller

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Synopsis

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?

 

About Julia Keller

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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.
 
Published August 21, 2012 by Minotaur Books. 382 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Killing in the Hills

Kirkus Reviews

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A tough prosecutor who's trying to make a difference in the lives of West Virginians suddenly finds her own life in shambles.

Aug 07 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Publishers Weekly

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At the start of Pulitzer Prize%E2%80%93winning journalist Keller's outstanding first novel, 17-year-old Carla Elkins is waiting for her divorced mother, Bell Elkins, Raythune County's prosecuting atto

Jun 08 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

The Guardian

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A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller, Vengeance by Benjamin Black, The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura and Safe House by Chris Ewan

Aug 17 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Publishers Weekly

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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 ...

Jun 11 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Book Reporter

This book appeals to all five senses beautifully as it incites a sense of outrage without moralizing.

Aug 24 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Chron.com

Journalist Julia Keller’s first mystery, “A Killing in the Hills,” superbly evokes the hard times and wooded beauty of a poverty-stricken county in West Virginia.

Aug 18 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Popcorn Reads

I couldn’t read A Killing in the Hills fast enough, as if I could catch the killer, and keep Carla and Bell out of deep water, if I just read a bit faster.

Aug 21 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Shelf Awareness

I have heard people 'mourn' the bookstore already in that laziest of ways: 'Another great New York institution is on its way out.' Or, 'Another great bookstore that can't stand up to Amazon.' Curb the instinct, folks.

Aug 14 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Time Out Chicago

The story is all the richer for that back story, both the ongoing saga of drug-running through small rural towns, and the impressively long cast of characters who get time in the novelist’s spotlight.

Sep 06 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Artswrap

The Story of My Life - Helen Keller Kill All Enemies, By Melvin Burgess In for the Kill Orwell Prize: judges hail strong shortlist but snub Christopher Hitchens Trending on Artswrap MEMBERS OF THE BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER AND GUES...

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Another theme of the book is Bell’s relationship with Carla and with Sam, her ex-husband: all portrayed realistically and compellingly with an originality rarely encountered in contemporary crime fiction (which regularly features stroppy teenagers).

Jul 30 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

MacMillian Library Marketing

-Booklist (starred review) "Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty.

Jul 03 2012 | Read Full Review of A Killing in the Hills

Reader Rating for A Killing in the Hills
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