Sorrow Road by Julia Keller

sorrow-roadThis one is the fifth in the Bell Elkins series, and Julia Keller proves she can still craft a page turner.

It’s expected that there will be deaths at a new care facility for Alzheimer’s patients, but the most recent three occur very close to each other.  The latest deceased is Harmon Strayer, and his daughter Darlene thinks something is suspicious.  She’s come all the way from Washington DC to discuss this with Bell, the prosecuting attorney in adjacent Raythune County.

Needless to say, Darlene doesn’t make it back to DC.  Due to a significant snowfall, the mountain roads in this part of West Virginia are quite treacherous, and her car is found shortly after, off the road after a particularly nasty switch back.

Darlene’s partner arrives wanting answers.  The body count jumps when an aide at the care facility and a friend of hers are found brutally murdered.  And things get even more interesting when Bell’s daughter, twenty-one and with secrets of her own, comes back home to live.

The author has kept it consistent with this whole series.  Keller’s books are highly readable, and she is not averse to including social issues in her books.  The beauty of rural West Virginia and the hard living of its people always play a part in this series.  Along with poverty and drug issues, Sorrow Road takes on the situation of Alzheimer’s and doesn’t flinch, and for that alone, I commend the author.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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