Jacqie's Reviews > A Killing in the Hills

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
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's review
Jul 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: didnt-finish

The mountain small town setting and drug related mystery reminded me a bit of Winter's Bone, but this ain't no Winter's Bone. This is a much more standard mystery format with a DA single mom main character as mystery solver. The teenage girl didn't feel especially authentic, although maybe it's just been too long since I was a teenage girl. There are many descriptions of piggy eyes, and honestly the first scene grossed me out a bit with its description of old-man-rotting-lettuce-colored teeth. It felt like the book was trying to be edgy, but mostly ended up being gross. The writing is workmanlike instead of poetic.

I think part of why Winter's Bone succeeded is that it was a mystery to be solved from the inside of the drug world. The system was not to be trusted or confided in- Ree had to figure everything out by herself, and she was a compelling, lonely, mythic character.

I think I might have been more interested in the book if there wasn't that obvious frame of reference to a book I preferred. I think this writer could use more practice, but don't hold that against her. Just not for me right now.

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