Join us on Wednesday, June 16 at 5:30 pm CT, for a Zoom event with Chris Offutt in conversation with Patton Oswalt to celebrate the release of Offutt's latest novel The Killing Hills.
Registration required. Click here to RSVP.
A literary master across genres, award-winning author Chris Offutt's latest novel, The Killing Hills, is a compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods.
Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren't getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can't handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer's increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife.
The Killing Hills is a novel of betrayal--sexual, personal, within and between the clans that populate the hollers--and the way it so often shades into violence. Chris Offutt has delivered a dark, witty, and absolutely compelling novel of murder and honor, with an investigator-hero unlike any in fiction.
Brooding and Bloody Country Noir -- Publisher's Weekly Starred Review ★
About the Author
Chris Offutt is also the author of novels Country Dark and The Good Brother, the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, among many other places. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. He lives in rural Lafayette County near Oxford, Mississippi.
About the Host
A comedian, actor, and writer, Patton Oswalt is known for his award-winning comedy specials and his many memorable film and tv roles. He currently stars as ‘Principal Durbin’ on the NBCUniversal comedy A.P. BIO and recently served as the lead voice of ‘Max the dog’ in Illumination’s THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2. His guest star appearance on NBC’s PARKS AND RECREATION earned him a TV Critics Choice Award. Oswalt’s latest stand-up special I LOVE EVERYTHING was released on Netflix in May 2020 and was nominated for an Emmy, Grammy, and Critics Choice Award. In 2016, he won an Emmy and Grammy for his Netflix special TALKING FOR CLAPPING.
“The lean prose elicits more than a hard-boiled style, and while the brisk yet gnarled atmosphere is reminiscent of Winter’s Bone, the dime-store crime novels of Jim Thompson, or even William Faulkner’s Sanctuary, Offutt brilliantly evokes the body and soul of his wounded hero. It adds up to a mesmerizing and nightmarish view of what lurks just over the hills. This is sure to be Offutt’s breakout.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Acclaimed Kentucky writer Offutt [delivers] another fine example of what might be called holler noir . . . In place of plot convolutions, Offutt offers those of Appalachian folkways. The result is a fast-paced, satisfying read. Rural crime fiction that kicks like a mule.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Offutt superbly blends classic country noir and character study, [with] both great sadness and understated humor.”—Booklist (Starred Review)
“Quite aside from being one of our finest storytellers, in his first crime novel Chris Offutt reminds us as always of how much we’ve pushed away from us—the natural world, kindness, community—and that the time will come when we reach again and it’s no longer there for the asking.”—James Sallis
“Chris Offutt’s The Killing Hills is a tense, thoroughly engaging read exposing a Kentucky hill country peppered with deceptive decency, deflecting manners and deadly trip wires all just waiting to snag the Army CID boots of Offutt’s formidable hero, Mick Hardin. A relentless story crafted with elegance, empathy and propulsive suspense.”—Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow series