A Killing in the Hills

Bell Elkins Novels (Volume 1)

Julia Keller

Minotaur Books

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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?

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

The old men sat around the little plastic table in the crowded restaurant, a trio of geezers in shiny black jackets, mumbling, chuckling, shaking their heads and then blowing across the tops of their brown cardboard cups of coffee, pushing out their flabby pink old-man lips to do so. Then sipping. Then blowing again.

Jesus, Carla thought. What a bunch of losers.

Watching them made her feel, in every restless inch of her seventeen-year-old body, so infinitely superior to these withered fools and their pathetic little rituals that she was pretty sure it showed; she

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Reviews

Praise for A Killing in the Hills

A Killing In The Hills is a gripping, beautifully-crafted murder mystery that shows that small-town West Virginia is no longer Mayberry. Great reading.”—SCOTT TUROW

“Julia Keller is that rare talent who combines gripping suspense, a fabulous sense of place and nuanced characters you can't wait to come back to. A must read.”—KARIN SLAUGHTER

A Killing in the Hills is a remarkably written and remarkably tense debut. I loved it.”—DENNIS LEHANE

"Julia Keller's A Killing in the Hills is a terrific debut—atmospheric, suspenseful, assured. I hope there's more to come in the story of Bell Elkins and Acker's Gap."—LAURA LIPPMAN

"Be careful opening this book because once you do you won't be able to close it. Instead, clear the weekend, silence the phone and settle into Acker's Gap, a place as fascinating and fraught with violence and beauty as Daniel Woodrell's Ozarks or William Gay's Tennessee. A killer novel."—TOM FRANKLIN

“A twisty plot—and a soulful depiction of a beautiful, besieged “afterthought of a town”—propels this debut mystery.”—People Magazine

“Keller perfectly captures the ennui of a community paralyzed by poverty and despair, and the pride of people who refuse to succumb to the insidiousness of drugs. . .A powerful debut.”—Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Outstanding. . .Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. . .Unforgettable.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)

“A fictional debut for a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, born and raised in West Virginia, whose love for the state, filled with natural beauty and deep poverty, pervades a mystery that has plenty of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion.”—Kirkus (starred review)


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A KILLING IN THE HILLS by Julia Keller | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of A KILLING IN THE HILLS . A tough prosecutor who's trying to make a difference in the lives of West Virginians suddenly finds her own life in shambles.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Julia Keller

JULIA KELLER was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in 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.

Julia Keller

Mike Zajakowski
Julia Keller

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Killing in the Hills
Julia Keller

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
June 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250028754
ISBN10: 1250028752
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$14.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
August 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250003485
ISBN10: 1250003482
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$24.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
August 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250018069
ISBN10: 1250018064
416 pages
$9.99
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