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September 2012 Indie Next List
“Keller makes a powerful entry into the crime fiction field with the introduction of Bell Elkins, a prosecutor in rural West Virginia, who must not only deal with a triple murder but also must constantly contend with a deteriorating society beset by the scourge of methamphetamine. Finely drawn characters, strong plot lines, and keen attention to a growing problem in rural America make this a gripping read.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
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, 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? In this 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. Shannon McManus does a terrific job narrating Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller's debut novel. McManus handles the various ages, accents, and genders with controlled enthusiasm, delivering a gripping performance of Keller's many shocking plot twists and breathtaking descriptions of Appalachia's beauty. First-rate listening. - Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine.