cover image The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies

The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies

Kathleen Hills, . . Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (307pp) ISBN 978-1-59058-476-7

Hills's gripping fourth John McIntire mystery (after 2006's Witch Cradle ) introduces the Hofer clan, who move to rural St. Adele, Mich., in the 1950s. When Reuben Hofer, an abusive father and husband, is shot dead in his tractor, town constable McIntire investigates and finds few who will miss Reuben. During WWII, Reuben spent time in a camp for rebellious conscientious objectors, not far from St. Adele. His extremely ill wife raised their children mostly on her own, only to have Reuben walk back into their lives and run the household like a prison camp. As word of Reuben's death spreads, strangers show up in town, as does Reuben's rigidly religious sister. Hills weaves her tale skillfully with a plot as richly textured as her Midwestern landscape. Her characters—untamed, reticent, lonely and proud—are exquisitely rendered in this postwar morality tale. (Jan.)