Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bitter River - Book Review

A teenage girl is found dead in a submerged car in the Bitter River. The autopsy reveals that she was strangled and three months pregnant. Bell Elkins, the County Prosecuting Attorney will work to solve the girl's murder and right the troubles in her own personal life. A series of shootings and bombings will shock the small town and make Bell's work more difficult and put her own life in danger.

Bitter River by Julia Keller sounded like a fun, fast-paced murder mystery. It was just what I was looking for to finish up the month of heavy reading. The novel starts out with the exciting discovery of a body and reintroduces the characters of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting Attorney and Sherrif Nick Fogelsong who apparently made their initial appearances in Keller's debut A Killing in the Hills.

However, after the initial excitement, the novel becomes bogged down in details and the personal life of Bell. Everything from the high school track to the gas station near the freeway and everyone in the small community is described in meticulous detail until the minutiae of Acker's Gap takes precedence over the plot.

The pacing begins to pick up in the last third of the book but the ending is forced and hard to believe. Overall, I wasn't impressed with the novel and wouldn't recommend it.

** I received a complimentary copy of Bitter River in exchange for my honest review. No additional compensation was received. **

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