Clues are thrown out in abundance, but the final reveal is shocking in the outstanding second entry in Keller’s new series. The eerie setting of a dying West Virginia town and its struggling inhabitants lends a haunting air to the story.
After finding a strangled pregnant teenager’s body submerged in her car in the Bitter River, county prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong soon realize this will not be an easy case to solve, as the list of suspects is long. They handily eliminate several prime candidates who appear to have solid alibis. Bell finds brief respite from her hectic job with a man 15 years her junior when another from her past shows up on her doorstep. This further complicates her personal life. During the investigation Nick and Bell discover how much the townspeople’s lives are intertwined. But when a series of catastrophes hits Acker’s Gap, it appears as if they have an uphill battle against more than one offender. (MINOTAUR, Sep., 400 pp., $25.99)