In the next stunning novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning Julia Keller, following the popular A Killing in the Hills, a pregnant teenager is found murdered at the bottom of a river.
Julia Keller's A Killing in the Hills was one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2012. Set in Acker's Gap, a beautiful but poverty-stricken West Virginia mountain town, Keller's combination of shocking suspense and spellbinding characterization garnered her four starred reviews and won over critics and readers alike. Bell Elkins, the county prosecuting attorney, is the main character alongside the town itself, where she grew up - her family story is part and parcel of the tragedy of the place, but she hasn't given up on it. Like Dana Stabenow's Alaska or Dennis Lehane's South Boston, the place defines the people and their stories.
Bell's latest case is a bad one: pregnant sixteen-year-old Lucinda Trimble's body has been found at the bottom of Bitter River. And Lucinda didn't drown - she was dead before her body ever hit the water. But that's not all Bell is coping with these days. Her daughter is now living with Bell's ex-husband, hours away. Sheriff Nick Fogelsong, one of Bell's closest friends, is behaving oddly. Furthermore, a face from her past has resurfaced for reasons Bell can't quite figure. Searching for the truth, both behind Lucinda's murder and behind her own complicated relationships, will lead Bell down a path that might put her very life at risk.
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"Starred Review. A worthy follow-up to Bell's debut: a literate, gritty, character-driven tale with another surprise ending." - Kirkus
"A worthy sequel to [Keller's] well-received adult fiction debut, A Killing in the Hills." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Once again, Keller combines masterful storytelling, a vivid sense of place - the beauty and poverty of Appalachia - a complex cast of characters, and a suspenseful, superbly executed plot that displays a depth rarely seen in mystery fiction." - Booklist
"Julia Keller is a beautiful writer and Bitter River has an elegiac force to it that is powerful and gripping. Bell Elkins is one of the most fully realized characters in fiction today. I just turned the last page on this one and I want more." - Michael Connelly
"Julia Keller's lyrical and evocative prose in Bitter River propels the novel until all you can do is hang on until the final page. Her sense of place is spot-on and bittersweet." - C.J. Box
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Julia Keller spent twelve years as a reporter and editor for the Chicago Tribune, where she won a Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she was born in West Viriginia and lives in Chicago and Ohio.
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