Saturday, October 27, 2007

She Walks These Hills

This would have been #13 in the 12-book Book Awards Reading Challenge, but I'm not going to continue counting them now that I've read the 12. She Walks These Hills by Sharon McCrumb won the Agatha Award, among others, in 1994.

from the back cover:

In the Appalachian community of Dark Hollow, Tennessee, some believe that the ghost of Katie Wyler, kidnapped by the Shawnee two hundred years ago, is once again roaming the hills. Only an old woman gifted with "the Sight" and policewoman Martha Ayers can put the superstitions to rest - and stop a flesh-and-blood predator as elusive as the whistling wind....

I enjoyed this one. It changes perspective by chapters, sometimes looking at events through the eyes of the "woman gifted with "the Sight"" and sometimes from the perspective of the escaped murderer and sometimes taking the point of view of the newly promoted police woman or the doctoral candidate researching the trail Katie Wyler walked. Interesting and not at all confusing, the author gives enough information to advance the plot and give a glimpse of the conclusion without giving everything away too early. Each chapter begins with a quote from the 1885 Tennessee Methodist Hymnal. The one introducing Chapter 4:

While dead in trespasses I lie,
Thy quick'ning Spirit give.
Call me, thou son of God, that I
May hear thy voice and live.
Charles Wesley

I didn't much care for the subplot involving the police woman's personal romantic relationship as I found that thread distracting and irrelevant. It's not over-emphasized, though, so I just moved through those few sections more quickly.

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