Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren’t getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can’t handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer’s increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife.
With an investigator-hero unlike any in fiction, The Killing Hills is a dark and witty novel of betrayal and the way it so often shades into violence.
The Killing Hills will be published in the USA, France, Spain, and Italy in 2021.
“Quite aside from being one of our finest storytellers, in his first crime novel Chris Offutt reminds us as always of how much we’ve pushed away from us—the natural world, kindness, community—and that the time will come when we reach again and it’s no longer there for the asking.”
—James Sallis, author of Drive
“Chris Offutt’s The Killing Hills is a tense, thoroughly engaging read exposing a Kentucky hill country peppered with deceptive decency, deflecting manners and deadly trip wires all just waiting to snag the Army CID boots of Offutt’s formidable hero, Mick Hardin. A relentless story crafted with elegance, empathy and propulsive suspense.”
—Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow series
"The Killing Hills is a potent mix of magnificent prose and uncompromising honesty. It has the resonance of a murder ballad and the deeply existential themes of an epic poem. Its voice will linger in your mind long after the final page is turned."
—S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland
"As he did in Country Dark (2018), Offutt superbly blends classic country noir and character study, finding both great sadness and understated humor lurking in the give-and-take of his remarkable dialogue."
—Starred review from BookList
Other books by Chris Offutt