Summer of the Dead, by Julia Keller, surprised me. While I was expecting a book that was jam packed with suspense and drama and a constant barrage of terrifying event after another… it wasn’t like that. And surprisingly, that is what I loved about it. In the real world, crime is not solved in a day or a week.
We watch TV shows that find us solving a vicious crime inside of a 24-72 hour period with the police not resting to eat or sleep it seems. Summer of the Dead put a reality to the suspense that I so love.
Summer of the Dead follows a few different characters; Lindy, a young woman who is taking care of her dying, slightly psychotic, father as he deteriorates right before her very eyes, and Bell, the county prosecutor for Raythune County, West Virginia. Bell is trying to solve two out of character gory murders before the locals completely lose it. A terror has swept this little mountainous town and people are afraid to even sit on their porch.
Throughout this entire book Julia Keller draws us in and takes us on a journey over a few weeks (which is the realistic part of this). We get to meet a lot of different characters, which kept me guessing at who could possibly be the bad guy (or girl), and giving insight into the personal lives of these characters. Being able to see how their work and stressful situations effect their daily lives makes the characters more relateable and imperfect.
My hat is off to Keller for not only bringing a reality to this book, but also keeping the reader guessing and on the edge of their seat waiting for the bad guy to jump out from behind a hidden corner. To top it off, when the story climaxed and everything seemed to come crashing down., there were endless amounts of surprises. The last few chapters were incredibly exciting to read and you will catch yourself saying “Oh my!” and “I didn’t see that coming” repeatedly.
Fantastic work by Keller. A definite must read if you like mystery, crime, suspense, drama, and surprise! Keller managed it all!
Make sure to pick this book up in stores or for your e-reader today!