Julia Keller’s eighth yarn featuring West Virginia crime fighter Bell Elkins is a heartbreaking blues song of a novel, employing beauty to evoke despair while reminding readers that even in the darkest of days, there might also be light.
The plot of The Cold Way Home gets rolling when Elkins stumbles onto a body near the overgrown ruins of an old mental hospital. The roots of the case sink deep into local family histories and the horrors that were once routine in the almost forgotten institution. The murder and the reasons behind it are revealed as ghastly, but Elkins manages to achieve some measure of justice in her economically depressed, meth-infested little town.
To read the full text of my review for the Associated Press, please click here.