HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
Loading...

A Killing in the Hills (edition 2012)

by Julia Keller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
162None75,351 (3.54)16
Member:jonesli
Title:A Killing in the Hills
Authors:Julia Keller
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:2013 Challenge, Borrowed from Library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2013 Category Challenge, Some Like It Hot, Finished January 2013

Work details

A Killing in the Hills [short story] by Julia Keller

Recently added bySwade0710, cherilove, private library, mamabi, veesing, pterhune
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Keller writes a beautiful novel complete with dimensional characters and riveting scenes. I could fell the gentle strength of Belfa and the tenacious hold on Link Fogelsong. Why do people turn to crime is a question with many layers, and Keller addresses several of the reasons in her novel. The people of Acker's Gap are pitiful and wonderful in different degrees. A small community knows all the personal secrets, but individuals lack the gumption for involvement. The only concern rests with the electrician that comes to review his work. I see no relevance in this character other than a love interest in a later novel. I also feel that the emotions between Bell and Carla, and between Bell and her sister are too mellow. Where are the heat and the frustration? ( )
  delphimo | Nov 12, 2013 |
Finished this book while waiting for election results, so I didn't pay enough attention at the end. Too preachy and too many similes, but a pretty good read. ( )
  lisan. | Oct 4, 2013 |
I am in the middle of reading a critique of modern literary fiction for being too pretentious, too wordy, too boring. Perhaps if I weren't reading this other little book, I might not have found "A Killing in the Hills" quite so annoying. But it really reads as if the author tried to write a mystery but didn't want to be considered a genre hack and so added metaphors to every single stinking paragraph in the book. And not good metaphors, stupid ones. I gave the book back to the library yesterday so I can only remember one of them that annoyed me the most: in describing fall colors, the author referred to "...crazy reds, headstrong yellows...." Truly, how is red crazy? And how on earth does yellow get to be headstrong?

There are all manner of holes in the plot but the two worst are:

1. Daughter doesn't tell mom something critical because she is afraid mom will be mad at her for being at a party where there were drugs. Now nothing else, including a nose piercing, bothers this girl's mom so what makes daughter think mom is going to get upset about the party, considering how she ended up there? It's a contrivance created to keep the book going for another two hundred pages.

2. The big bad (not the actual killer - we know who he is fairly early on) is revealed out of the blue. There had been no indication whatsoever that he was the big bad; we were just all of a sudden told that he was. That, in murder-mystery land, is cheating.

So I'm completely mystified by the praise for this book. It's not a literary novel although it tries so hard to be one, but it's a lousy mystery because the author cheats. ( )
  Tonestaple | Sep 1, 2013 |
This was a mystery set in a small town in the hills of West Virginia. I found the descriptions of the landscape and town to be very vivid but many of the characters fell flat. It felt like many of the subplots were there to fill up space. They were well written but seemed unnecessary. It appears that this might be the first in a series. I would probably pick up a second book by this author.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
I read this in two days with an interruption for sleep - mysteries are not my favorite genre but this had great characters and a plot that revolved around issues as well as who did it. Keller is a journalist first and I like the way that style carried over into this story.
( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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 a nearby table. Carla catches only a glimpse of the killer at the Salty Dawg's entrance before he flees. Bell, who's been crusading with the local sheriff against the growing illegal traffic in prescription drugs and the violence it spawns, investigates the triple slaying, as does rebellious Carla. Meanwhile, the drug boss orders the assassin to kill the meddling prosecutor. Keller does a superb job showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. Some characters turn out to be better than they appear, some much worse, but the ensemble cast is unforgettable. So is this novel.
added by ozzer | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 11, 2012)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
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?
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In this novel a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it is too late. What is 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, West Virginia. 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?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
108 wanted2 pay8 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1
1.5
2 5
2.5 5
3 10
3.5 8
4 19
4.5 4
5 4

Minotaur Books

An edition of this book was published by Minotaur Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,471,310 books! | Top bar: Always visible