An army investigator returns from overseas and heads into the hills of Kentucky to help his sister, a local sheriff, while trying to save his fractured marriage in Chris Offut's tough-minded rural noir The Killing Hills.
A woman's murder, her body found at a remote location, sets off a chain of retribution through the community that puts our protagonist square in the center.
Offutt writes with the authenticity of having grown up in this environment, with scenes that range from sorrowful to surreal to super-charged with danger.
This novel will undoubtedly be compared to Elmore Leonard's Raylan Givens stories (and accompanying television show Justified), but where Raylan Givens seems to easily master his environment, Mick Hardin is subsumed and overcome by it, leading to a melancholy coda.
The Killing Hills is a literate, fast-paced story with memorable characters and situations; recommended for crime fans.
I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Library in New Castle, Indiana and read it very quickly.