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DISMAL MOUNTAIN
by John Billheimer
Harlequin, September 2002
304 pages
$5.99
ISBN: 0373264313


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

John Billheimer first introduces Owen Allison in "The Contrary Blues". This book, "Dismal Mountain"is third in the Owen Allison Series.

Owen is a transportation expert now living in California. He is returning to his hometown in West Virginia to care for his ailing, but strong willed mother.

The community that Owen returns to is a coal-mining town dependent on coal for their livelihood. Times are hard and many of the mining families are suffering.

Not long after arriving in Barkley Owen is asked to check into the shotgun murder of a coal truck driver. The fact that the driver is running at night, from an abandoned mine is not the most puzzling thing. There is a confessed murder already arrested. The thing is the murderer is Owen's eccentric Aunt Lizzie, who also runs the local hospice house.

Lizzie had made public statement threatening the coal drivers and then confessed to the crime

As Owen tends to his mothers treatment, investigates the shooting his aunt has confessed too he is also reestablishing a friendship with an old flame. A friendship is all it will be; the lady is now a nun at the local hospital.

When this nun turns up dead, the victim of an apparent suicide and Owen is injured in a hit and run accident he soon realizes that someone is playing for keeps.

Before the story closes the reader realizes that family loyalty, Big Coal Corporation, politics and greed and play a part in this interesting tale.

I enjoyed the setting for this book immensely. I spent some time in West Virginia last summer and I must say that John Billheimer has the scenery and the natives down to a tee. The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing right up to the last few pages.

Reviewed by Susan Johnson, August 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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