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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday - First Chapter - First Paragraph - A Killing In The Hills


Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading.  This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of A Killing In The Hills by Julia Keller.  This is the first in the Bell Elkins mystery series and it was published in 2012.  There are now four Elkins books, so I decided I better get started reading.  See what you think:



     She didn't come here often, because there was nothing left.
     When she did come, it tended to be at dusk, and she would stand and look at the bare spot, at the place where the trailer had been.  It was only a few dozen yards away from Comer Creek.
     You could smell the creek, a damp rotting smell that was somehow also sweet, even before you could see it.  The woods around it made a tight screen, as if the branches were gripping hands in a game of Red Rover.  Daring you to break through.  You could hear the creek, too, its nervous hum, especially in the early spring, when the frequent rains made the water run high and wild.
     When she was a little girl, she would play on the banks of the creek in the summertime.  Her sister Shirley kept an eye on her.  In no time at all, Bell--her real name was Belfa but everybody called her Bell, because 'Belfa,' Shirley had told her, sounded dowdy, old-fashioned, like a name you'd hear at a quilting bee or a taffy pull, whatever that was--would get astonishingly muddy.  Not that she cared.  The mud squirted between her toes and drifted under her fingernails and stuck to her hair.  Somehow it got smeared behind her ears, too, and across the back of her neck.  Bell could remember how glorious it felt on those summer afternoons, playing in the mud, glazing herself with it.  Soft and cool.  A second skin.  One that made her slippery all over.  Hard to catch and hold.
     Safe.


Blurb:

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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I've meant to start the Bell Elkins series for quite some time, having heard a lot of good feedback from other bloggers.  The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and she's a native of the area where the book is set.  Can't wait to get started.  Have you read any books by Julia Keller?


36 comments:

  1. I like the writing in the beginning paragraphs. I also like the story summary. This would be a new series for me too. It will, however, have to wait until after the Triple Dog Dare.

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    1. I understand Margot. Hopefully, by then I will have finished this book. One can dream. LOL

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  2. I loved A Killing in the Hills...but somehow missed it had become a series...more titles for me to add to the teetering wishlist. Hope you enjoy it

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    1. Yes, there are at least 3 more at this point. I like the setting.

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  3. I love this series! I can't wait for another installment. :)

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    1. Yay! Did I know you loved it? Can't remember. That bodes very well for my enjoyment!

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  4. Oh a new series! I liked the opening and the premise is interesting. I'd keep reading.

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    1. I've heard good things, Candace.

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  5. I like the descriptive writing - giving a good sense of location. A good opening that makes me want to read on.

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    1. Yes, I wanted to put the part about the mud in there. Definitely a rural setting.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this new--to-me author and series. Sounds like a gripping read!

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    1. I'm hoping so and have heard good things.

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  7. I would continue reading - this is a new to me author but I love a good mystery!

    Reading With Jade

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    1. I think this will be a good one. And I'm a sucker for any kind of mystery pretty much. LOL

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  8. Quite atmospheric. I'd love to read about this area in a mystery novel.

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    1. Yes, I loved the description. West Virginia is a beautiful state.

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  9. I really like the intro you shared, Kay. It drew me in instantly. I haven't heard of this series before. At least it's not terribly long, so you should be caught up in no time. :-)

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  10. Wow, another mystery series that sounds really tempting, and I love getting in on Book One. The intro was so nostalgic and made me want to grab the book right now...and so did the blurb. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to beginning it soon.

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  11. I'm not a big fan of mystery series (too much commitment), so probably wouldn't continue with this one.

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    1. No, likely not for you, Sarah. You know that sometimes I read books that aren't mysteries or are standalones. LOL

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  12. Oh wow, this sounds like something I'd totally read. I'm going to have to check if my library has a copy. My TBR is never going to be a reasonable size, I think... :P

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    1. Oh, you mean our TBR is supposed to be manageable? LOL LOL

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  13. Three elderly men getting shot down in cold blood makes me interested. Why?

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    1. Good question. Guess I need to start this soon and find out.

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  14. From the teaser this sounds very atmospheric. I've not read anything by this author but I would definitely be tempted. Keep us posted on this one. Might be one I could recommend to my mystery book group!

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    1. I will let you know how it goes. I'm thinking it might be good for my group as well, if there are enough copies in the library system (which there probably aren't).

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  15. I like the sounds of this one, and I love new series. But like Margot, I'll have to put off reading it until after the Triple Dog Dare.

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  16. This sounds like a good one. I'd keep reading.

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    1. I liked the beginning too, Diane.

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  17. Author lives in area where book is set? Excellent. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist? Yes, that sounds quite good.

    I think you should definitely try this series.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! I intend to begin just as soon as I finish Louise Penny's latest.

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  18. I haven't heard about this one, but it sounds really good. I'd keep reading.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!