On a Saturday morning three retired gentlemen were having coffee at a small town diner in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia when a man opened the door, fired a gun and killed them instantly. The gunman escaped leaving behind baffled and hysterical witnesses that were unable to describe him. One of the witnesses was a teenager, Carla, the daughter of Bell Elkins, the local prosecutor. Carla and Bell had a strained relationship so when Carla remembered an important clue she didn’t go to her mother but decided to pursue the killer on her own.
As Carla investigates the killings she is drawn into the increasing danger of Acker’s Gap’s new reality of violence and drugs. Though Bell had been aggressively prosecuting drug dealers, the problem won’t go away, and the killing of the three men could be a sign of worse things to come. A Killing in the Hills is the debut mystery by Julia Keller that tells the story of Bell’s and Carla’s life, their relationships and the loyalty to a small town that is in the grip of a tragedy.