Summer of the Dead: A Novel (Bell Elkins Novels #3) (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Two brutal murders give rise to fear in Ackers Gap, WV that a serial killer may be living amongst them. Prosecuting Attorney Bell Elkins is toiling away at a particularly onerous case and is knee-deep in mundane paperwork. Sheriff Fogelsong is away on leave with a sick wife, stumping law enforcement as to who would kill these two unlikly victims. Throw in a few crafty twists and turns and Keller's novel is a winner. It's evident in her writing why she excelled as a writer for the Chicago Tribune and received the Pulitzer prize. - Kathy

— Kathy


High summer in Acker's Gap, West Virginia—but no one's enjoying the rugged natural landscape. Not while a killer stalks the small town and its hard-luck inhabitants. County prosecutor Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong are stymied by a murderer who seems to come and go like smoke on the mountain. At the same time, Bell must deal with the return from prison of her sister, Shirley—who, like Bell, carries the indelible scars of a savage past.

In Summer of the Dead, the third Julia Keller mystery chronicling the journey of Bell Elkins and her return to her Appalachian hometown, we also meet Lindy Crabtree—a coal miner's daughter with dark secrets of her own, secrets that threaten to explode into even more violence.

Acker's Gap is a place of loveliness and brutality, of isolation and fierce attachments—a place where the dead rub shoulders with the living, and demand their due.

About the Author

Julia Keller, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and former cultural critic at the Chicago Tribune, is the author of many books for adults and young readers, including A Killing in the Hills, the first book in the Bell Elkins series and winner of the Barry Award for Best First Novel (2013); Back Home; and The Dark Intercept. Keller has a Ph.D. in English literature from Ohio State and was awarded Harvard University’s Nieman Fellowship. She was born in West Virginia and lives in Ohio.

Praise For…

“In her powerfully written third appearance, Bell (Bitter River, 2013, etc.) emerges as a compelling heroine with an especially vexing mystery to solve.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Keller's insights into the vagaries of families provide a solid foundation as the character-driven Summer of the Dead delivers a plot rich with believable action and intriguing twists.” —Associated Press

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250044730
ISBN-10: 1250044731
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 26th, 2014
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: Bell Elkins Novels