cover image Valley of the Shadow

Valley of the Shadow

Charlotte Hughes, Charlotte Huges. Avon Books, $6.99 (338pp) ISBN 978-0-380-78454-7

Hughes, the author of And After That, the Dark, delivers an entertaining and fast-paced murder mystery. Meg Gentry, former police reporter in Atlanta, is trying to turn her life around after a difficult divorce. Having traded her car for an old green camper, she heads home to small-town Tennessee. But things aren't any quieter in Appalachia: on her second day at the local newspaper, she's promoted after an editor dies--either by suicide or murder. After being threatened by her brother-in-law, rescuing a young woman trying to escape her evangelical family and finding her camper burned to the ground, feisty Meg tries to find out what's happening. Hughes's snappy, dialogue and strong writing aptly describe the small Southern town and its attitudes towards a girl corrupted by the big city. She's one of the more interesting reporter-detectives to come around in a while. Here's hoping that Hughes has another Gentry caper out soon. (Jan.)