Karin Slaughter has called Julia Keller 'a rare talent' and Dennis Lehane has praised her 'remarkable writing'. Now Bell Elkins returns. His body was found mutilated on the outskirts of the town he was there to help. Who killed him and why?A high-end resort being built on the outskirts of Acker's Gap, West Virginia, a town desperate for jobs and prosperity, should have been welcome. But following the Buffalo Creek disaster of 1972, where a coal company's mistake tragically claimed the lives of many Raythune County's citizens, opinions and tensions are running high. When Ed Hackel, Mountain Magic's marketing manager, is found brutally murdered, suspicion quickly falls on Royce Dillard. An acknowledged loner orphaned by the disaster, Dillard had made his opposition clear by refusing to sell a parcel of his land deemed critical by the developers for access to the resort. With all evidence pointing to Dillard, Bell Elkins, the County's prosecuting attorney, feels she has no choice but to charge him. When a person dies his last ragged breath always tells the truth -- but is the truth always what it seems to be?
Julia Keller was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. Previously the chief book critic for the Chicago Tribune, she has taught both creative and non-fiction writing at Princeton, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, and won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2005.