I love mysteries for the suspense and the puzzles that are solved by the end of the book. The mysteries I enjoy the most contain multi-dimensional ch..Show More »aracters with plots being used to develop these characters. Even better, a story that explores a place I have never been and that leaves me with a sense of the smells, the sounds and the colours is a treat. Ms. Keller combines a tightly woven story with characters and a place I became deeply interested in. I don't feel that I have words that can express how much I enjoyed both the prose and the story itself. West Virginia now "lives" in my imagination, in the same way that James Lee Burke's St. John's Parish and Timothy Hallinan's Bangkok have come alive for me. Shannon McManus is superb. I highly recommend this book. Please write more stories about Bell, Ms. Keller. P.S. I enjoyed the prose so much that I bought a Kindle copy of the book so that I could re-read certain passages. It really doesn't get much better than this!
I will give Julia Keller one more chance, but the ending of this book was close to unforgivably bad. Granted, this is summer reading, and so it doesn..Show More »'t have to be realistic, but this ending was singularly horrible. I have seen bad adaptations of John Grisham novels that were more believable than the ending of this book. It makes me feel like I want the previous 9:30 back. Just wretched! I love Bell Elkins; I love Rhon Rhon; I love the rest of the supporting cast (Nick, etc.) and none of them played enough of a role in this book. It was all strangers and then a preposterously stupid conspiracy and a "surprise" resolution to part of the violence that violates most of PD James's rules about what constitutes good murder mystery. Shannon McManus, however, is impeccable. She's a joy to listen to.