a killing in the hills by Julia Keller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I would that this book had its reader’s hooks a little closer together and a little tauter; the first hook comes in the prologue, and involves a scenic joust with one of the main characters. The second comes early in the first chapter, but then several pages ensue of characterization (nicely done, I admit) before the “real” action commences. Then again, it’s back to characterization and a little backstory.
The novel does work to develop its Appalachian background and setting, including the character of the populace. Much attention is devoted to “the new Appalachia,” overrun by prescription drugs illegally sold and consumed. Much dialogue is devoted to eliciting characterization. As for setting and character, I’ll give 5 stars, but 3 for action.
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