Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Keller Changes Things Up In a Very Good Way With Sixth Bell Elkins Mystery

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Fast Falls the Night, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Bell Elkins novels.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

When a young woman overdoses on the dirty floor of a gas station bathroom, it's a sad, tragic death.  Not an out-of-the-ordinary one, however.  Not in Appalachia, where life is tough, people are discouraged, and illegal drugs are plentiful.  Addiction and all the ugliness that goes along with the "Applachian virus" are just part of life, especially in the small town of Acker's Gap, West Virginia.  When another overdose occurs within hours of the first, however, then another, then another, it quickly becomes apparent that the victims have partaken of a bad batch of heroin.  Laced with a lethal tranquilizer, the drugs are toxic.   

Bell Elkins, the Raythune County prosecutor, is as alarmed as everyone else by the escalating death toll in her little town.  In order to stop the madness, she and the police need to locate the dealer responsible for the tainted drugs.  It's a frantic, adrenaline-fueled, race-against-the-clock hunt that is unlikely to result in a happy ending.  Not everyone believes county resources should be used to fight a losing battle, but it's happening anyway.  At least for one night. 

As if Bell doesn't have enough on her plate with the desperate drug investigation, she has to deal with a sister who's dying of cancer, a boyfriend who's pressuring her into marriage, and a shocking revelation that will shake her to her core.  For the 45-year-old prosecutor, it's going to be a very, very long night ...

I've enjoyed all the books in the Bell Elkins mystery series by Julia Keller and have come to expect a certain formula from them.  That's why Fast Falls the Night—the sixth installment—surprised me so much.  Keller changes things up this time around in a few ways.  First, this story takes place over a 24-hour period, which makes for a much faster paced novel than usual.  Second, she focuses on new characters and relationships.  As much as I love Bell and miss Nick Fogelsong, injecting some new blood helps make Acker's Gap feel more interesting and alive.  Third, Keller ends the book with a cliffhanger.  Although this is par for the course with lots of mystery/thriller series, Keller always wraps her stories up at the end.  At first, I thought Fast Falls the Night's very abrupt conclusion was due to a printing error in my ARC.  Nope.  While the not-so-satisfying finale was definitely unexpected, I can't deny that it's making me crazy for the next installment in the series.  I have to know what happens, darn it!  I also have to say that I like the changes Keller makes in Fast Falls the Night.  They've injected new energy into the series.  I would have been anxious for the next Bell Elkins book anyway, but now I'm chomping at the bit.  August 2018, come quick!

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Bell Elkins series, including A Killing in the Hills; Bitter River; Summer of the Dead; A Haunting of the Bones [novella]; The Devil's Step-Daughter [novella]; Ghost Roll [novella]; Last Ragged Breath; Evening Street [novella]; and Sorrow Road)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, blood/gore, depictions of illegal drug use, and other disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Fast Falls the Night from the generous folks at Minotaur Books, a division of St. Martin's Press/Macmillan.  Thank you!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive