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The Hollows

(Kinship #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Jess Montgomery showcases her skills as a storyteller in this powerful, big-hearted and exquisitely written follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Widows.

Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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The Hollows is the 2nd book in the Kinship series by Jess Montgomery. I previously read the first book in this historical / mystery fiction series and enjoyed it a lot. I had to read the second one, and it definitely was equally as strong. The series revolves around Lily Ross, a woman who becomes the sheriff of a small Ohio county when her husband is murdered. In the last book, chapters alternate between Lily and Marvena, the former sheriff's girlfriend, who has become Lily's confidante and frie ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The perfect blend of history and Mystery this is the second book in Jess Montgomery’s Kinship series based on The real first female sheriff of Ohio. While I thought this worked just fine as a standalone, I also would have liked a little more of the characters backstory that I am sure is given in the first book. 1926 Ohio Lily is called to the scene of an elderly woman having dropped onto the train tracks from above and then been hit by the oncoming train. No identification, no shoes, no idea if ...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Since her husband’s death, Lily has found that the absences of ordinary, predictable sounds— Daniel shaving in the washroom, Daniel humming, Daniel sitting on the edge of their bed to pull on his boots and then clunking his feet on the floor— are more noticeable than the sounds themselves ever were.

She’d also blushed then, redness rising up her chest and creeping over the top of her high-necked dress collar, as she realized for the first time in years… she was regarding a man and
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I remember when Jess Montgomery’s first book in this series The Widows came out and the book world was abuzz with praise for it. I missed out when it was first published, but that led me to the amazing opportunity to read not only The Widows, but the sequel which was just published this month, The Hollows back-to-back. All of the pain of waiting for more from the series was washed away, and I pretty much dropped everything to read them.

I have to say—the praise was well-earned! Jess Montgomery w
The Hollows is the second book of the Kinship Historical Mystery Series and great as a standalone book. This is my first Jess Montgomery book and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

The series is based on real life events and focused on a 1920’s female sheriff in Appalachia. As the sheriff, Lily Ross is called to investigate the mysterious death of an elderly woman in the remote district called Moonvale Tunnel. Lily is assisted by her deputy sheriffs’ Hildy and Marvena, as their i
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Kinship Series is a delightful series taking you back in time to the 1920-30’s Ohio Appalachian region, centering on main character and first “female” Sheriff, Lily Ross.

This follow up to book #1 The Widows is chocked full of local history and legend. There’s a new murder mystery for Sheriff Lily to solve with racial prejudice at its core. In this 2nd installment the characters are more fully developed with relationships evolving, including possibly a new romance where Sheriff Lily is concer
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lily Ross is the acting Sheriff in a rural Appalachian County in Southeastern Ohio. It's 1926, and many still do not support a woman as Sheriff, but Lily is determined to uphold the law. When an elderly woman is hit by a train in the Moonvale Tunnel, Lily is called to investigate. The locals believe the area is haunted, and the brakeman claimed he saw a ghostly figure at the time of the accident. But was it an accident, or was she pushed? Who is this elderly woman, and what's her story? With the ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Minotaur for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Hollows
By: Jess Montgomery

*REVIEW* 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Hollows is my first read by Jess Montgomery. Lily Ross is the first female sheriff in the Appalachian region via Kinship, Ohio. It's hard to imagine how difficult the job must have been for a woman. The death of an elderly woman in Moonvale Tunnel means Lily is called to investigate. The case is not as cut and dry as it seems. Things a
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved her other books and this didn't disappoint. A fast paced mystery crime novel that held me all the way through. Outstanding historical fiction. I loved it.

Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I cannot describe how excited I was to read The Hollows after loving The Widows so much. I think I loved this one just a little bit more than the last one, but that’s because I already know these characters pretty well after reading the first book twice.

In the previous story, Lily was appointed to the sheriff position after her husband, then Sheriff Daniel Ross, was murdered. In this story, Lily is up for re-election. I love the way there is the tension of an upcoming election and the campa
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Definitely not my usual kind of read, but when I was first pitched The Hollows by Jess Montgomery, I went and dug around for some information. This was how I found out the book is part of a historical mystery series inspired by Maude Collins, Ohio’s first female sheriff, and that was enough to pique my interest.

While The Hollows is technically the second book in the Kinship sequence, following Montgomery’s debut The Wido
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
I thought this book started out a bit slow and I had some trouble following it. However not quite halfway through it suddenly got better. It had some interesting history weaved in the story. I liked the spunkiness of Lilly and the determination of the other characters. I ended up really liking the story much more than I expected. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
Cathy Cole
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Widows, the first book in Jess Montgomery's Kinship historical mystery series, was one of my stand-out books in 2019, and it gives me so much pleasure to say that this second book, The Hollows, is now a stand-out book of 2020. I find the combination of Montgomery's evocative setting, her descriptive language, her story, and her marvelous characters to be well-nigh perfect.

Perhaps the setting speaks to me so strongly because I was raised in a small farm town that had a coal mine until the mi
Victoria Thompson
You'll love it as much as the first one

This is a worthy successor to the first book in the series. It immerses you in this world and makes you part of it. Keeps you guessing until the end and them surprises you.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

I read The Widows recently, and enjoyed the novel immensely. It reminded me a bit of William Kent Krueger's standalone novels. There is so much I loved about it - it based on true events in history (although I am not sure how much of it is true), it has mystery, some romance, brave women, and gorgeous descriptions and writing. I was so happy to hear there was a sequel, but I wasn't sure if it would be as good as the first novel. In The Hollows we learn more about Lily's friend, Hi
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-reads-2020
I read the first book The Widows and enjoyed it very much. I was eager to read the 2nd book in the Kinship series. I liked it even more than the first book in the series. It will be one of my best reads for 2020 since I gave it five stars.

The time is 1925 and the location is Kinship Ohio which is in South East Ohio. It is mining country and close to the Appalachian Mountains. The written descriptions of the area are just beautiful. Several times I would reread passages again savoring the descrip
The Lit Bitch
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have had my eye on Jess Montgomery’s debut novel, The Widow’s, for some time so when this one came up for review, I couldn’t pass on it even if it was the second in a series.

A number of readers said this book could be read as a standalone even if it is part of a series so I was eager to jump in and see if that was truly the case. I loved the ‘ghost story’ angle in the summary and couldn’t wait to start reading it!

Admittedly the midwest area and the 1920s aren’t really my go to location or eras
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent historical mystery, engrossing and entertaining.
I liked the well crafted plot, the well researched historical background and the solid mystery.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x-edelweiss
I loved the first book in this series and was so happy that the second was just as good.
I love a good historical novel and The Hollows was one of them. The mystery in this one was just as good as the first. It had me staying up way too late to finish it, just to find out what happened.
The Widows had POV's from Lily and Marvena. The Hollows adds in Hildy's POV as well. I really enjoyed her arc to the story.
There is an elderly woman who is hit by a train and Lily must determine whether it was an
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The second novel in Jess Montgomery’s remarkable series set in a 1920’s Ohio mining town is every bit as memorable and vivid as the first, The Widows, which was far and away one of the best books of 2019. Montgomery brings to life the story of the first female sheriff, Lily Ross, in tiny Kinship, Ohio. While the first novel concerned itself with the politics of mining, this novel is more of a straight mystery, which veers into the unfortunate territory of racism and because of the time period, a ...more
Michelle Kenneth -
[I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher.]

I liked this murder mystery. It is perfect for the Bechdel Test prompt.

When I picked this book, I assumed it would be a little scary, mixed in with a murder mystery. There are ghosts in this book, but they are not present in a way that will make you believe this book is supposed to be scary. The ghosts are only there as if they're a part of everyday life.

There are women in this story who are heroes and others who are villains. This book
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Story set in Appalachia appeal to me and this does not disappoint . This historical mystery set in an area where the underground railroad was active follows the newly elected woman sheriff investigate the death of an elderly woman found near the tracks. There is so much to the story--so much entwined in the lives of those who live in the hollar and harbor secrets, prejudice, anger, and love.
Jessica Strawser
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The 2nd book in Jess Montgomery's Kinship series delivers—and promises more great things to come—with a beautifully written, atmospheric, and compelling story of unlikely heroes in 1920 Appalachia. I rooted hard for this ensemble cast of strong women finding the courage to do the right, hard thing—and finding themselves in the process. ...more
I do like this female-lead mystery series about a unique "lady sheriff" in the 1920s. Although this book's protagonist is a member of law enforcement, Montgomery strays far from typical "cop-centric" mystery beats. The stories in this series tend to unveil the less-than-idyllic portions of rural America, rather then rely on tired tropes of drunken murderers or sociopathic serial killers: in The Hollows, the "bad guys" are members of the KKK and those who enable them. This is as much a book about ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jess Montgomery has created another winner. The Hollows is the second book in a series that follows a female sheriff in small-town, post WWI Ohio. And just like in the series' first book, The Widows, Montgomery has treated us with a fantastic cast of characters; a complex, multi-layered mystery; a wonderful sense of place and time; and a fascinating history lesson.

Lily Ross became sheriff of the fictional Bronwyn County during The Widows, and as The Hollows opens, we learn she is running for re-
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

I want to call this “Southern Gothic” but it isn’t really Southern and only parts of it are gothic. But still, that feeling persists.

While this isn’t truly Southern, it also kind of is. It may be set in Ohio, but it’s in the southeast corner of the state, a place that has always been more a part of Appalachia than it is the Midwest. Far away from the big cities, which would have been Cincinnati and Cleveland at the time this story is set, locked in their et
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Hollows is the second book of the Kinship Historical Mystery Series, following The Widows. Jess Montgomery bases her storyline on actual 1920’s events of Ohio’s first female sheriff.
The widow Lily Ross is very good at her job as sheriff, but it seems she must devote more energy defending the fact that she’s female than she does just trying to keep her responsibilities in order. The election is coming up, too, which is already causing some backstabbing and mumbling among the town’s inhabitant
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good fast paced historical drama with believable twists and turns and characters . Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Hollows by Jess Montgomery is the second in her Kinship series. Lily Ross is the sheriff of Kinship, a small town in Bronwyn County. In 1926, a female sheriff could be controversial. Actually, there still aren't many women in the role of sheriff: "Of the 3,084 sheriffs in the United States, only 42 are women, says Fred Wilson, director of operations for the National Sheriffs’ Assn. And that number is nearly twice what it was just seven years ago, he says. "(Source)

In addition to the fact tha
Suz Jay
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
“For some time, people and moments and events—living and dead, past and present—have been raveling free of one another, like pieces in a patch quilt whose connecting stitches have broken, the pieces all still there but floating separately, randomly, in her mind.”*

Lily Ross’s term as sheriff is nearly over and she’s up for re-election. The town is split, some support Lily, knowing what a great job she’s done after inheriting the role after her husband Daniel’s death, while others want a man in th
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AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Pie! 4 7 Jan 15, 2020 02:30PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Research! 3 7 Jan 15, 2020 01:33PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Introducing THE HOLLOWS 8 18 Jan 15, 2020 04:44AM  

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JESS MONTGOMERY is the author of the Kinship Historical Mystery series, inspired by a true-life 1920s female sheriff in Appalachia. You can find out more about her books at, or on Facebook @JessMontgomeryAuthor.

Under Jess's given name, she is a columnist for Writer's Digest, "Level Up Your Writing (Life)," and for the Dayton Daily News, focusing on the literary life, a

Other books in the series

Kinship (3 books)
  • The Widows (Kinship #1)
  • The Stills (Kinship #3)

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