web site hit counter The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

Availability: Ready to download

Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight." So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a run-down farm, and the two children who survived had no one left. Only the minister's wife, Laura Bruce, was willing to be their guardian. Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight." So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a run-down farm, and the two children who survived had no one left. Only the minister's wife, Laura Bruce, was willing to be their guardian.


Compare

Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight." So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a run-down farm, and the two children who survived had no one left. Only the minister's wife, Laura Bruce, was willing to be their guardian. Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight." So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a run-down farm, and the two children who survived had no one left. Only the minister's wife, Laura Bruce, was willing to be their guardian.

30 review for The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is my second book by Sharyn McCrumb, and I liked this one best. She has such a way of transporting me to backwoods Tennessee. I feel like I'm sitting on somebody's porch, listening to Uncle Asa tell stories. This story just meanders on down the hill, taking its own sweet time. In this book, there are actually several tales being told, each a complete story on its own, but woven together to create a fascinating tapestry. There are plenty of diversions and side trips, just to keep things inte This is my second book by Sharyn McCrumb, and I liked this one best. She has such a way of transporting me to backwoods Tennessee. I feel like I'm sitting on somebody's porch, listening to Uncle Asa tell stories. This story just meanders on down the hill, taking its own sweet time. In this book, there are actually several tales being told, each a complete story on its own, but woven together to create a fascinating tapestry. There are plenty of diversions and side trips, just to keep things interesting. I really felt like I got to know the characters, and I liked them. I rooted for each to succeed and find his or her way to someplace good. In the end, they all did, even though many of those good places were completely unexpected, at least for me. I was left with a good feeling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Werner

    Modern/contemporary general fiction hasn't formed the largest bloc of my reading --not because I don't like it, but just because, at the specific times when I've picked books to read over the years, selections from the other genres have usually happened to overshadow anything from this one. And I greatly enjoy both the supernatural (as well as other speculative) and mystery genres. So it's perhaps not surprising that when I do read general fiction, some of what I'm attracted to has elements of o Modern/contemporary general fiction hasn't formed the largest bloc of my reading --not because I don't like it, but just because, at the specific times when I've picked books to read over the years, selections from the other genres have usually happened to overshadow anything from this one. And I greatly enjoy both the supernatural (as well as other speculative) and mystery genres. So it's perhaps not surprising that when I do read general fiction, some of what I'm attracted to has elements of other genres, though not pronounced enough to make it part of them. That's the case with the Ballad series, set in fictional Hamelin, TN and featuring continuing characters Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, his small staff, and mountain wise woman Nora Bonesteel (as well as characters unique to each novel). McCrumb is a successful author in the mystery field, and this series, anchored as it is to the life of a small-town sheriff's office, frequently has plots that involve crimes, sometimes involving detection and unanswered questions --as is the case here, where there is more to this "murder-suicide" than meets the eye. The books also have occasional matter-of-fact glimpses into the supernatural, woven into the fabric of normal life but never overwhelming it; Miz Bonesteel, for instance, has second-sight (as did her grandmother), and that's just something everyone knows and takes for granted. ("Magical realism" is a term that might be apt here.) And in some books of the series, though not this one, the author interweaves blocs of historical fiction with the present-day narrative, as Appalachia's past continues to affect, and even haunt, its present. But these books don't fit neatly into, or wholly adopt the conventions of, any of those three genres. Here, the real central concern is with realistically depicting the life and relationships of the characters, and the broader fabric of life and social problems of the modern Appalachia in which they live. (Author McCrumb herself comes from Appalachian roots, and now lives in the area herself.) This isn't the idealized Appalachia of, say, Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John series, almost frozen in time and untouched by the evils of modernity. Rather, it's the real modern-day Appalachia, characterized by grinding poverty, environmental degradation, ruthless exploitation by powerful interests, and a decaying social fabric. But traces of the older mountain culture survive and endure; a strength of the series is McCrumb's knowledge, and skillful use, of the history, lore, and folkways of the region. (My own long residence in the area, my wife's roots in it, and my growing affection and appreciation for its heritage, is undoubtedly a factor in my attraction to this series.) The author's moral and social instincts are sound; she's an able storyteller, creates characters you care about, and she doesn't employ explicit sex or much bad language (though there's some of the latter). Readers should be warned, though, that events in these books can be as rough and painful as real Appalachian life often is; in this book, for instance, besides the grisly deaths at the farmhouse, the plot lines include a terminal illness, a fatal trailer fire, and a dangerous flood. This is actually the second novel of the series, and the one where I'd recommend that readers start; McCrumb really hits her stride here (and this is also the novel that first introduces Nora Bonesteel, who does a lot to make the series as good as it is). The first novel is the angst-drenched If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (that title is taken from an old folk ballad that's actually relevant to the story; I'm not sure what the title of this installment derives from :-)), which is steeped in post-Vietnam post-traumatic stress disorder and doesn't really succeed in making the characters likable; but the writing improves sharply in the succeeding books, starting with this one, IMO.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maurean

    “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter” is the second installment of her Appalachian Ballad series, and was the third of said series that I’ve had the pleasure to read (while several characters are re-occurring, these ballads need not be read in order, and are all easily enjoyable as stand-alones). McCrumb deftly displays both the beauty and the hardship of the Celtic heritage, prevalent in the Appalachian area. In this particular tale, McCrumb weaves several storylines simultaneously: we are acquaint “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter” is the second installment of her Appalachian Ballad series, and was the third of said series that I’ve had the pleasure to read (while several characters are re-occurring, these ballads need not be read in order, and are all easily enjoyable as stand-alones). McCrumb deftly displays both the beauty and the hardship of the Celtic heritage, prevalent in the Appalachian area. In this particular tale, McCrumb weaves several storylines simultaneously: we are acquainted with Nora Bonesteel, a backwoodswoman with the gift of “the Sight”, who is the first in the town of Dark Hollow to know about the murder-suicide of four members of the Underhill family that left two children without any kin. Laura Bruce, pregnant wife of the local minister, serves as an advocate for the surviving children, Maggie and Mark, so that they may remain in their family home and continue classes at the local high school. But, when Deputy LeDonne finds that the two have disinterred their father’s grave, he sets out to find out what really happened on the night of the shootings. Concurrently, the reader is told the story of a local farmer, Tavy Annis, who is diagnosed with cancer, brought on by chemicals leached into the Little Dove River from a paper mill in the bordering state of North Carolina. And, at the same time, Sheriff Spencer Underwood's not-so-secret devotion to country singer, Naomi Judd, is weaved lightly in and out of the story as well. For myself, I found this to be just one more example of McCrumb’s wonderful talent for creating interesting characters and fabulous narratives. If I had any complaints, I would say that the resolution of the Underhill saga was a wee bit “tidy” for my taste, and perhaps the medical advice given to Laura was a tad unrealistic, but none of that took much away from this intricate and tightly woven tale. I love these ballads, and I will definitely read the remaining books in this series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharla

    The sense of place in this book is so real you can feel the mountain shadows lengthen. I identify with the characters so much I can almost feel their pain. Loved Maggie and was so angry at those who failed to help her and Mark when they needed it. Nora Bonesteel is a wonderful character you'd love to meet in life. The only criticism would be that I thought the Justin Warrren camp of wanna-be soldiers didn't serve much purpose. They seemed extraneous. Overall a great read. The sense of place in this book is so real you can feel the mountain shadows lengthen. I identify with the characters so much I can almost feel their pain. Loved Maggie and was so angry at those who failed to help her and Mark when they needed it. Nora Bonesteel is a wonderful character you'd love to meet in life. The only criticism would be that I thought the Justin Warrren camp of wanna-be soldiers didn't serve much purpose. They seemed extraneous. Overall a great read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Connie Knight

    The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, published in 1992, introduced Sharyn McCrumb's portrait of life in Dark Hollow, Tennessee, a small town in the Appalachian mountains. This novel was a Mystery Guild Selection. Main characters begin with Nora Bonesteel, an elderly woman with the gift of Sight. Her house is on a mountaintop that faces the nearby mountain showing the Hangman's face. People come to her for help. One of her friends is Jane Arrowood, widowed mother of Sheriff Spencer Arrowood. Spencer' The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, published in 1992, introduced Sharyn McCrumb's portrait of life in Dark Hollow, Tennessee, a small town in the Appalachian mountains. This novel was a Mystery Guild Selection. Main characters begin with Nora Bonesteel, an elderly woman with the gift of Sight. Her house is on a mountaintop that faces the nearby mountain showing the Hangman's face. People come to her for help. One of her friends is Jane Arrowood, widowed mother of Sheriff Spencer Arrowood. Spencer's staff include Deputy Sheriff Joe LeDonne, a Viet Nam vet with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and his girlfriend, dispatcher Martha Ayers. Laura Bruce, wife of minister Will who is serving as an army chaplain in the Middle East, is learning to live in rural Wake County, and she runs the church, with help, in Will's absence. Then there's the Underhill family, a retired Army major, his wife, and four children, living in a farm house near the river. Mark and Maggie find the bodies of their parents and brothers when they return from choir practice. Laura is called to respond to the tragedy, where the police and the coroner are investigating the homicides. Did Joshua kill the others and then shoot himself? Taw McBryde and Tavy Annis were close friends in childhood, and in retirement they became friends again. But Tavy found he suffered from liver cancer, caused by chemical pollution in Little Dove River near his house. Taw and Tavy undertake research, investigation, and petitions to have the pollution cleaned up, but run into barriers everywhere. That doesn't stop their crusade. When Tavy dies, Laura takes his place in organizing a political action committee. Little Dove River is not only polluted; it floods its banks at the end of the book. Laura rescues Maggie from the old farmhouse and finds out the truth about the deaths of the Underhill family.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

    This story is as odd as the several mountain stories that are told within it. Nora Bonesteel has the second sight and she often has the coffee poured and plates of cookies out arleady when the visitor comes up the road. She is the character around whom the story is told although she is not the main character. There is a terrible tragedy and four members of the Underhill family are dead and the remaining two children are dazed and left without kin to take them in. There are several more stories w This story is as odd as the several mountain stories that are told within it. Nora Bonesteel has the second sight and she often has the coffee poured and plates of cookies out arleady when the visitor comes up the road. She is the character around whom the story is told although she is not the main character. There is a terrible tragedy and four members of the Underhill family are dead and the remaining two children are dazed and left without kin to take them in. There are several more stories which thread through the book, a young woman's struggle to bear a child, a tragic fire and the sad death of a farmer suffering from fatal cancer from toxic chemicals leached into the stream that runs through his property. The stories are a window into the Appalacian culture, its strengths and its weaknesses. The characters are vivid and real and the story telling is just as it should be...dark stories of mystery, love and tragedy. This is a wonderful book to sit back and enjoy

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    In the used bookstore a few days ago I asked the clerk for a mystery recommendation. This was one of them. While it isn't objectively bad, I just didn't enjoy it. I realized tonight that I was coming up with any excuse to not pick it up and finish. So I quickly skimmed the last half and guess what? It was more of the same. This isn't a mystery even though it's categorized as a crime novel - the killer is named very early on. At times it seemed to be dealing with environmental issues, then small In the used bookstore a few days ago I asked the clerk for a mystery recommendation. This was one of them. While it isn't objectively bad, I just didn't enjoy it. I realized tonight that I was coming up with any excuse to not pick it up and finish. So I quickly skimmed the last half and guess what? It was more of the same. This isn't a mystery even though it's categorized as a crime novel - the killer is named very early on. At times it seemed to be dealing with environmental issues, then small town religion, an old woman with the sight...well, you get my drift. It was all over the place and needed to pick a literary lane. Part of the issue is that I also looked at the book summaries of the rest of the series. I knew then it wasn't going to work for me. Not a real series with consistent characters. 2/5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Pribus

    Although there is a mystery with things not really being as they appear, this book is more a collection of Southern story-telling with a fey old woman who sometimes sees the future. It's almost a series of short stories, tied together in the framework of a quilt the old woman is creating. Two parents and a young boy are murdered by an older son who commits suicide, leaving two siblings behind. The minister's wife, in his absence because of being deployed as a chaplain to the midEast, is a connec Although there is a mystery with things not really being as they appear, this book is more a collection of Southern story-telling with a fey old woman who sometimes sees the future. It's almost a series of short stories, tied together in the framework of a quilt the old woman is creating. Two parents and a young boy are murdered by an older son who commits suicide, leaving two siblings behind. The minister's wife, in his absence because of being deployed as a chaplain to the midEast, is a connecting thread among several of the stories. A polluted river runs through the hollow in the backwood mountains of eastern Tennessee. All told with a bit of the supernatural, but not with dime-store vampires. A good read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Another one that could do with a half star. However, what I loved about this book was that it wove in Shakespeare, the Irish heritage of Appalachia, and the ballads that nurture the area so beautifully. In a lot of ways it reminded me of "Christy" - it's not necessarily a compelling story, but a compelling setting and characters. The mystery is, quite frankly, a sideline. I look forward to reading more of her novels. Another one that could do with a half star. However, what I loved about this book was that it wove in Shakespeare, the Irish heritage of Appalachia, and the ballads that nurture the area so beautifully. In a lot of ways it reminded me of "Christy" - it's not necessarily a compelling story, but a compelling setting and characters. The mystery is, quite frankly, a sideline. I look forward to reading more of her novels.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Marble

    There doesn't seem to be any genre Mccrumb hasn't mastered. This is a broad sweep of a community high up in Eastern Tennessee with real people doing real things..........plus someone with 2nd sight. Some plot twists are so delicious they will stay in my memory for a long time. A must read for anyone who loves a well told story. There doesn't seem to be any genre Mccrumb hasn't mastered. This is a broad sweep of a community high up in Eastern Tennessee with real people doing real things..........plus someone with 2nd sight. Some plot twists are so delicious they will stay in my memory for a long time. A must read for anyone who loves a well told story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Perhaps I am cynical, but I knew the reason for the murder from the first pages. Waiting for everyone else to figure it out was nerve wracking to say the least. THe subplot involving the minister's wife and her baby felt tacked on me, it served no real purpose except to jack up the tears quotient for the reader. Perhaps I am cynical, but I knew the reason for the murder from the first pages. Waiting for everyone else to figure it out was nerve wracking to say the least. THe subplot involving the minister's wife and her baby felt tacked on me, it served no real purpose except to jack up the tears quotient for the reader.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    I enjoyed this one better than the last. The characters in the book are done well my fav being Vernon Woolwine who has numerous costumes that he wears daily and Nora is the perfect old crone living quite remotely. Will keep reading this author

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This one just didn't hit home for me. It seemed to lack a lot of depth and tried to tackle too many storylines and topics at once, considering it's part of a larger series that could have dealt with some of these things better in individual books. This one just didn't hit home for me. It seemed to lack a lot of depth and tried to tackle too many storylines and topics at once, considering it's part of a larger series that could have dealt with some of these things better in individual books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Another really good book from Sharyn McCrumb. I started reading this one as I spent the weekend in the Appalachian hills near the setting of her books. It isn't a typical 'whodunnit' mystery, but rather explores several issues that affect several lives in the aftermath of a tragic shooting. There is plenty to think about, and to me the most interesting issue was the one not overtly explored: how otherwise good, honest, and caring people can still be self-absorbed enough to miss the tragedies bre Another really good book from Sharyn McCrumb. I started reading this one as I spent the weekend in the Appalachian hills near the setting of her books. It isn't a typical 'whodunnit' mystery, but rather explores several issues that affect several lives in the aftermath of a tragic shooting. There is plenty to think about, and to me the most interesting issue was the one not overtly explored: how otherwise good, honest, and caring people can still be self-absorbed enough to miss the tragedies brewing right under their noses. There was one false note that ran through this book, and that would be the dalliance with country music subculture. Perhaps when the book was published it was a bit more meaningful, but nearly twenty years later it came off as dated and irrelevant at best.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lana

    This book is an odd one. Sharyn McCrumb obviously does a great deal of research to make her books authentic to the Appalachian people. It was an interesting read, as far as details go and learning something new about an unfamiliar culture. The story/stories were well-told. None of the stories ever actually had a point, which in this book wasn't really a problem. I enjoyed it anyway. It was like listening to somebody tell a story about something that happened to them, just because they liked to ta This book is an odd one. Sharyn McCrumb obviously does a great deal of research to make her books authentic to the Appalachian people. It was an interesting read, as far as details go and learning something new about an unfamiliar culture. The story/stories were well-told. None of the stories ever actually had a point, which in this book wasn't really a problem. I enjoyed it anyway. It was like listening to somebody tell a story about something that happened to them, just because they liked to talk about it, not because there was a moral or anything. I've got Rosewood Casket next in this author's books to read. I'm interested to know if this story-telling style runs through more than one of her books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    McCrumb does a wonderful job in describing the mountains and people. I adore her use of old-time folk lore to enhance the story. In this tale, two brothers and the parents are brutally murdered by the oldest son, who also takes his own life. The story has other tragedies besides this: the burning death of a young mother, the environmental cancer death of an old man, the stillborn death of the preacher's wife. But, amid all this heartbreak is inspiration and hope; and a sense of renewal. I thorou McCrumb does a wonderful job in describing the mountains and people. I adore her use of old-time folk lore to enhance the story. In this tale, two brothers and the parents are brutally murdered by the oldest son, who also takes his own life. The story has other tragedies besides this: the burning death of a young mother, the environmental cancer death of an old man, the stillborn death of the preacher's wife. But, amid all this heartbreak is inspiration and hope; and a sense of renewal. I thoroughly enjoy reading McCrumb's book because I am reminded of my own short experience of life in the TN/NC mountains.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Beth

    I'm not going to pretend I am not biased. It wasn't the writing that I disliked about this novel or the characters or anything like that, not that either of those things were exceptional. It was just god-awfully depressing. So much for the tiny bit of magic in the novel. It's a little old lady who rarely sees anything that she wants to about the future and certainly isn't capable of doing anything about it. Ouch. Between murders, insanity, senseless accidents and industrial pollution there were I'm not going to pretend I am not biased. It wasn't the writing that I disliked about this novel or the characters or anything like that, not that either of those things were exceptional. It was just god-awfully depressing. So much for the tiny bit of magic in the novel. It's a little old lady who rarely sees anything that she wants to about the future and certainly isn't capable of doing anything about it. Ouch. Between murders, insanity, senseless accidents and industrial pollution there were rays of hope, it simply wasn't enough to lighten the load for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Holly Morey

    This is the 2nd novel in the "Ballad" series. The story revolves around Nora Bonesteel, though she is not the main character. She has what is known as the "second-sight" in Appalachia and she knows things before they happen. What I like about this series is the characters and their developement throughout the books. The plots in this book revolve around the murder-suicide of four members of a family, a pregnant woman, whose husband is overseas, and a man dying of cancer, caused by pollutants in This is the 2nd novel in the "Ballad" series. The story revolves around Nora Bonesteel, though she is not the main character. She has what is known as the "second-sight" in Appalachia and she knows things before they happen. What I like about this series is the characters and their developement throughout the books. The plots in this book revolve around the murder-suicide of four members of a family, a pregnant woman, whose husband is overseas, and a man dying of cancer, caused by pollutants in the river. The author entwines these stories and adds a few unexpected twists

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Mosey

    I read "the legend of Tom Dooley" by this author.Enjoyed it very much,but the forgot to look up more of her books.Saw a blurb abt.her and her stories,set in Appalachia,so I got this one.Well,I just loved this story.It puts you in the mountains,among the poor people,who don't know they are poor,add a nice mixture of local characters and each of their stories,and murder.I had to read it straight through. I will read more by MsSharyn McCrumb,already looking for "If Ever I return,Pretty Peggy-O".Can I read "the legend of Tom Dooley" by this author.Enjoyed it very much,but the forgot to look up more of her books.Saw a blurb abt.her and her stories,set in Appalachia,so I got this one.Well,I just loved this story.It puts you in the mountains,among the poor people,who don't know they are poor,add a nice mixture of local characters and each of their stories,and murder.I had to read it straight through. I will read more by MsSharyn McCrumb,already looking for "If Ever I return,Pretty Peggy-O".Can't believe I missed her books,these were written in 1992-93,"Dooley" the latest one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Lamont

    Well, I'll be reading more of Ms. McCrumb's work. I felt like I was back in time, a little-bitty girl going on a picnic on the mountain with MaMaw and PaPaw or going out to the mountain to visit with Aunt Ethel and Uncle John Henry. The light blue eyes, the seeing things that are to come but that are not really of immediate use to one's self or the ones who are in the slice of the future, boy did this seem like home to me. Well, I'll be reading more of Ms. McCrumb's work. I felt like I was back in time, a little-bitty girl going on a picnic on the mountain with MaMaw and PaPaw or going out to the mountain to visit with Aunt Ethel and Uncle John Henry. The light blue eyes, the seeing things that are to come but that are not really of immediate use to one's self or the ones who are in the slice of the future, boy did this seem like home to me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I think this is the book I read, many years ago. It was very haunting and disturbing. It bothered me so much that I've never read another one of this author's books. There also was some kinda psychic aspect to the story that I had a hard time following. I usually like mystery/suspense books, but this one was not one I enjoyed. I think this is the book I read, many years ago. It was very haunting and disturbing. It bothered me so much that I've never read another one of this author's books. There also was some kinda psychic aspect to the story that I had a hard time following. I usually like mystery/suspense books, but this one was not one I enjoyed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    J A W

    Of this series, this is my favorite, McCrumb weaves the ordinary with the eerie in a manner that grips her reader. While the characterizations were wonderful, the stereotypical tortured Vietnam veteran loner portrayal, who was more of a caricature than a character, kept this book from earning 5 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    In Dark Hollow, Tennessee, it was accepted within the community that Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight". And so she understood before anyone else that a tragedy had occured in the Underhill family. Sharyn McCrumb uses the mountain setting of eastern Tennessee to tell a story that seamlessly mixes Appalachian legends with the reality of modern America. In Dark Hollow, Tennessee, it was accepted within the community that Nora Bonesteel had "the Sight". And so she understood before anyone else that a tragedy had occured in the Underhill family. Sharyn McCrumb uses the mountain setting of eastern Tennessee to tell a story that seamlessly mixes Appalachian legends with the reality of modern America.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becky Peeples

    What a thouroughly depressing book! I don't even know if I can finish this. Its like a bad nightmare, dead babies in the womb, murderous siblings etc, grave digging.. I don't think I'll be reading anything else by her. Too macabre for me. What a thouroughly depressing book! I don't even know if I can finish this. Its like a bad nightmare, dead babies in the womb, murderous siblings etc, grave digging.. I don't think I'll be reading anything else by her. Too macabre for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benee

    I felt that it was a slow read. In the end I found I didn't really feel any connection with the characters. I kept exspecting somthing more when I was done. It was okay! I felt that it was a slow read. In the end I found I didn't really feel any connection with the characters. I kept exspecting somthing more when I was done. It was okay!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    This was an odd story, but for some reason I couldn't quit reading it. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't recommend anyone spend their time on it. Strange, huh? This was an odd story, but for some reason I couldn't quit reading it. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't recommend anyone spend their time on it. Strange, huh?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I am becoming a fan of Sharyn McCrumb.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A lot of triggers in this book that could be rough for some people: murders/suicide, stillbirth/loss of child, house fire with burn victim dying, flooding with a teenager swept away and killed, child abuse (beating), and extreme poverty. Add to all that a desolate winter landscape, a polluted river, and a disjointed town where people don't really check in on others rocked by tragedy (with the exception of two likeable characters, Tavy, dying of cancer caused by the polluted river, and Taw, his c A lot of triggers in this book that could be rough for some people: murders/suicide, stillbirth/loss of child, house fire with burn victim dying, flooding with a teenager swept away and killed, child abuse (beating), and extreme poverty. Add to all that a desolate winter landscape, a polluted river, and a disjointed town where people don't really check in on others rocked by tragedy (with the exception of two likeable characters, Tavy, dying of cancer caused by the polluted river, and Taw, his close friend who stayed by his side to the bitter end), along with an old woman in possession of "the Sight" living high on the mountain overlooking the land. This definitely wasn't one of those small town, feel good, cozy mysteries. This wasn't even a mystery at all although it was cataloged as such in the library. If it hadn't been for a book club I probably wouldn't have read it nor finished it. One thing that bothered me more than anything was that after the tragic murder/suicide of four people in one family, no one looks in on the two remaining teenagers. People keep meaning to, but they never do it. Those kids are left to fend for themselves, struggling with trauma and ultimately madness that allowed one of them to die. All the themes brought up are good to be examined in a novel, but putting so much in at once overwhelmed this short novel, and caused the disjointed feeling and lack of depth, as the author jumped from one subplot to another without much connection between characters or action, and leaving loose ends dangling... Overall, this books was bleak and depressing. Tavy and Taw and their fight against the environmental pollution helped redeem the book somewhat.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

    This is one of the best mysteries I have read in a while. It gives you such a visceral sense of the setting where it takes place that when you look up from the page, you're surprised not to see the mountains looking over your shoulder. The characters you meet in the first book of the series get deeper, and the new ones (especially Nora Bonesteel and Laura Bruce) are unforgettable. The subplot involving an old man dying from an industrially polluted river adds to the sense of place...and also, to This is one of the best mysteries I have read in a while. It gives you such a visceral sense of the setting where it takes place that when you look up from the page, you're surprised not to see the mountains looking over your shoulder. The characters you meet in the first book of the series get deeper, and the new ones (especially Nora Bonesteel and Laura Bruce) are unforgettable. The subplot involving an old man dying from an industrially polluted river adds to the sense of place...and also, to the theme of struggling to make meaning out of a hard but beloved life. The mystery itself, involving the death of parents and two of their four children, is sad to the core. But the relationship between the minister's wife and one of the surviving children is redemptive. It's a very Christian book that way, and even though I am not a Christian, I could recognize and appreciate that faith.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This story is set in the Appalachia of eastern Tennessee. There are several stories within the story but they come together as one. There's a lot of sadness between a murder-suicide of 4 family members, the madness of the 2 children not killed, the death by fire of a young mom, the cancer death of a man fighting a giant paper company that's polluting the river, the minister's wife giving birth to a stillborn while her husband is in Desert Storm, and a sheriff fighting his own PTSD from Viet Nam This story is set in the Appalachia of eastern Tennessee. There are several stories within the story but they come together as one. There's a lot of sadness between a murder-suicide of 4 family members, the madness of the 2 children not killed, the death by fire of a young mom, the cancer death of a man fighting a giant paper company that's polluting the river, the minister's wife giving birth to a stillborn while her husband is in Desert Storm, and a sheriff fighting his own PTSD from Viet Nam yet what comes through is the strong resiliency of the survivors. And seeing all of it from her home atop the mountain is Nora Bonesteel, an elderly woman with the gift of seeing things before they happen.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.