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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Bone on Bone

Bone on Bone

A Bell Elkins Novel

Bell Elkins Novels (Volume 7)

Julia Keller

Minotaur Books


Bone on Bone, the next powerful chapter in Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Keller's beloved Bell Elkins series, sends readers headlong into the thick of a mystery as young as today's headlines -- but as old as the mountains that hold these lives in a tight grip.

How far would you go for someone you love? Would you die? Would you kill? After a three-year prison sentence, Bell Elkins is back in Acker's Gap. And she finds herself in the white-hot center of a complicated and deadly case -- even as she comes to terms with one last, devastating secret of her own.

A prominent local family has fallen victim to the same sickness that infects the whole region: drug addiction. With mother against father, child against parent, and tensions that lead inexorably to tragedy, they are trapped in a grim, hopeless struggle with nowhere to turn.

Bell has lost her job as prosecutor -- but not her affection for her ragtag, hard-luck hometown. Teamed up with former Deputy Jake Oakes, who battles his own demons as he adjusts to life as a paraplegic, and aided by the new prosecutor, Rhonda Lovejoy, Bell tackles a case as poignant as it is perilous, as heartbreaking as it is challenging.

Chapter One

“‘Belfa.’ Is that right? Unusual name.”

Bell nodded. She’d been fielding that inquiry or a version thereof her entire life. It used to rile her when she was a kid—Yeah, granted, it’s not Jane or Sue...

Praise for Bone on Bone

“This thoughtful, painfully empathetic story will long linger in the reader’s memory.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Keller can spin a mystery plot with the best of them, but it’s her full-bodied characters and the regard they have for one another that really sets her crime fiction apart: a bride’s back-of-the-hand caress of her new husband’s cheek, and his response, is a moment that will linger in memory long after the crime is solved." - Booklist (starred review)

“This haunting, thought-provoking story proves Keller is one of a kind.” – Library Journal (starred review)

“A native West Virginian and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize while at the Chicago Tribune, Keller, with a winning blend of lyrical prose and realistic storytelling, again offers readers exceptional crime fiction and a harrowing portrait of the Mountain State. Adrift in poverty, anger and despair and awash in opiates, West Virginia casts a bleak shadow. But in Keller’s adroit, unblinking and humane approach, its profound humanity also shines through.” – Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

“Compulsively readable and rich with psychological and social insight… Keller emphatically captures a community beset by hardship and caught in a downward spiral that she is determined to break.” – National Book Review


Reviews from Goodreads

Julia Keller

JULIA KELLER spent twelve years as a reporter and editor for the Chicago Tribune, where she won a Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she was born in West Virginia and lives in Chicago and Ohio. Julia is the author of the Bell Elkins Novels, beginning with The Devil's Stepdaughter.

image of Julia Kellero
Elaine Phillips


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