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Fast Falls the Night: A Bell Elkins Novel (Bell Elkins Novels) Hardcover – August 22, 2017
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“This outstanding, taut mystery presents an important social issue with compassion and great humanity”
-- Library Journal (starred review)
“Book clubs looking for a chilling mystery based on true events will want to pick up Julia Keller’s novel.”
“Keller's prose is so pure that her exploration of the desperate scourge of drugs and poverty and her forecast of a grim future for her heroine is a joy to read. “
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Keller’s series featuring Bell Elkins is remarkable for its humanity and its fully realized characters. Keller’s finely honed prose and emotional depth mark this series as exceptional in the world of crime fiction.”
--Booklist (starred review)
“This literary trip to West Virginia can be tough and heart-breaking but oh, so worthwhile. Highly recommended.”
-- Joyce’s Mystery and Fiction Reviews
"The 24-hour time frame imbues a sense of urgency to the plot as Keller shows the day’s events through various points of views... A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Keller again perfectly captures a community that, despite its struggles, will survive."
-- Associated Press
“The characters in the novel, and the plot itself, are mesmerizing, and you will keep reading without let up until the last page. And even then, you’ll be left wondering.”
--Marilyn’s Mystery Reads
“Keller does a terrific job of rubbing our faces in the troubles of her hometown – of America’s hometowns.”
-- New York Times
“Fast Falls the Night is undoubtedly dark and gritty, but it's also so beautifully and humanely written that a glimmer of hope is sure to light in every reader.”
-- Shelf Awareness
“She builds her plot skillfully to a conclusion that delivers multiple shocks and raises questions for future installments. She writes with gritty realism and often with lyrical beauty. Keller infuses her fiction with humanity ― at its best, at its worst and in its everyday struggles.”
About the Author
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 Virginia and lives in Chicago and Ohio. Julia is the author of the Bell Elkins Novels, beginning with The Devil's Stepdaughter.
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Acker’s Gap, West Virginia is depressingly familiar with the scourge of drugs and addiction and everything that follows in its wake. But on one late summer night a young woman overdoses in a gas station bathroom, followed in quick succession by one overdose after another. The book spans a 24 hour period as law enforcement frantically searches for the source of the lethal heroin, and each of the key players grapples with their own feelings about addiction and the futility of the “war” against drugs.
Underscoring the main storyline are the personal crisis that the characters face: Shirley has some life altering news for Bell; a retired deputy sheriff is floundering; a veteran is desperate to get his young daughter out of a bad living situation…all of this simmers beneath the surface as each player struggles with his or her role in the investigation.
I’m pretty stingy when it comes to 5-star ratings, but this book simply blew me away. Every time I had to put this down to attend to real life I was desperate to get back to it. The author did an excellent job of creating tension and a sense of urgency, and the personal stories were poignant and sometimes heart-wrenching. Julia Keller is such a strong writer, balancing passages of beautifully descriptive prose with concise plotting and rich characterization. I’ve enjoyed all of the books in this series, but I’ll be thinking about this one for some time to come. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
The series, in order:
*A Killing in the Hills: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
*Bitter River: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
*Summer of the Dead: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
*Last Ragged Breath: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
*Sorrow Road: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
*Fast Falls the Night: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels)
She still uses too many " as ifs" , "likes" or "just as" in her descriptions, but after reading all the books I don' t notice it anymore. Starting reading this series because of my interest in West Virginia which is realistically described, but have become invested in so many characters- cannot wait for the next book.