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Breakheart Hill Paperback – July 1, 1996


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Breakheart Hill + The Chatham School Affair + Places in the Dark
Price for all three: $23.97

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553571923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553571929
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cook's latest suspense novel centers on a murder in a small Southern town during the early years of desegregation.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?Ben Wade, a country doctor, recounts the story of his adolescent unrequited love for Kelli Troy. Outspoken Kelli shocked most of the small town of Choctaw, Alabama, when she wrote an essay in the school paper describing the sordid history of hatred, humiliation, and slavery behind the name of nearby Breakheart Hill. Shortly after Lyle Gates, a loser with a history of violence, called Kelli a "nigger-loving bitch," her badly beaten body was discovered on Breakheart Hill. Gates was convicted and sentenced despite some inconsistencies in evidence and his claim of innocence. In a shocking climax, Dr. Wade discovers the truth behind the attack when he assists Kelli's now-aged mother as she puts her affairs in order, and he must face his own culpability in the crime as well. This mystery within a coming-of-age story will be a favorite with teens who appreciate sophisticated plotting.?Susan R. Farber, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

THOMAS H. COOK was born in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1947. He has been nominated for the Edgar Award seven times in five different categories. He received the best novel Edgar for The Chatham School Affair, the Martin Beck Award, the Herodotus Prize for best historical short story, and the Barry for best novel for Red Leaves, and has been nominated for numerous other awards.

Customer Reviews

This book is another reason I love Thomas H. Cook.
Amazon Customer
This book really makes you THINK and do nothing but enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Pamela A. Poddany
Cook did a great job of keeping me guessing until the very end.
Karen Bierman Hirsh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although I am no stranger to the books of Thomas H. Cook, nothing I previously read prepared me for the emotional roller coaster journey I took while I read this title. The opening lines of the book, "This is the darkest story I have ever heard," certainly rings true as Cook takes his readers on a time machine ride back to Choctaw, Alabama in the year 1962. And what the reader finally learns on this journey in the last few pages will have them aggreeing that Thomas Cook is the the master of a genre hard to categorize. At first glance one assumes that he is a mystery author while a second glance has you thinking he writes psychologial studies dealing with the relationships of people and what pure and simple evil does to their lives. And some readers may even think that Cook borders on being a thriller witer. Whatever your conclusions, its safe to say that a Cook book will have you reading late into the night. And even once you've finished, you will continue to wonder about the plot and characters for a long time.
Middle aged, married and the father of one daughter. Ben is troubled by an incident which occured 30 years ago. As he relates the story and finally the truth, all sorts of issues have been explored. Among them adolescent love, integration, the question of parentage, standing up for what you believe, deception and finally hatred. As the reader finds himself immersed in the lives and events of this town and what did occur on Breakheart Hill, the question of who did it becomes secondary. For it is the telling of the events leading up to and the aftermath of this event which keep you turning the pages in breakneck speed. And the last few pages were so riveting and unexpected, that I found myself going back and rereading them to make sure I understood everything.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Breakheart Hill is the story of Kelli Troy, the new high school student from Baltimore, whose badly beaten and battered body is found on Breakheart Hill in Choctaw, Alabama. This is an amazing story, told in a series of flashbacks by the town doctor, Ben Wade, of how the lives of Kelli's friends and acquaintances were changed forever, by this incident. The writing both eloquent and riveting pulls you into the story and never lets you go. The characters are beautifully drawn and developed and the scenes, so vivid, they jump off the page. This is a powerful, compelling story of love, loss and betrayal with an unexpected climax and ending that will keep you thinking about this novel for a long, long time. Breakheart Hill is a masterpiece of suspenseful storytelling. Read it...you won't be disappointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andy Edie on March 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first Thomas H Cook book that I have read. His style of prose truly lends itself to a daydreaming stream of consciousness. He lets you drift backwards in the main character's memory, and pulls you back to the present, all the time staying mostly in chronological order. Only once or twice does he ask you to piece together a bridge for the occurences being described.
This is a very short read, not only in actual legnth, but also because the way the story flows.
This book is also excellent when it comes to describing teenage angst and yearning. He uses words in a very beautiful and tearing collage to portray love.
There is a very strong element of mystery in this book, and it pulled me in, but the edge of human emotions made me keep reading until I was done, only hours after starting this book.
Read it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on May 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
As with all of Thomas Cook's novels they are filled to the brim with suspense and stunning twists in the tale that the reader would never suspect but once revealed the reader can't imagine it any other way.
I usually select fast paced, psychological suspense mysteries - but this book kept me on the edge of my seat. Just as Cook was about to reveal a thread of the story he would pull you back into the present - it had twists and turns and was well written.
Cook did a great job of keeping me guessing until the very end. It is a haunting story of lost love and remorse that lives in the heart for over thirty years. Dr. Ben Wade, the town physician, has lives in Choctaw, AL most of his life. In high school he was in love with Kelli Troy, but his affections were not returned. Her badly beaten body was discovered on Breakheart Hill and few knew what to make of this brutal murder. Who committed this crime and why? Was the right man convicted of this crime? Only Ben Wade knows the truth and for thirty years he has kept watch over Kelli's legacy...
This novel truly brings you back to those days of yearning in high school and shows you how one small event effects so many lives. A great read and a moving tale.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on July 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
As much as I generally choose fast paced, psychological suspense mysteries - this book kept me on the edge of my seat. Just as Cook was about to reveal a thread of the story he would pull you back into the present - it had twists and turns and was well written. Cook did a great job of keeping me guessing until the very end. It is a haunting story of lost love and remorse. It truly brings you back to those days of yearning in high school and shows you how one small event effets so many lives. A great read and a moving tale.
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