The Code of the Hills: An Ozarks Mystery
HarperCollins, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
ormer prosecutor Nancy Allen handled more than her fair share of sexual criminal cases and abuse trials for the Greene County DA's office. So this Ozarks resident has plenty of actual firsthand experience to draw upon in this debut novel.
llen's protagonist, Elsie Arnold, is given a high-profile incest case involving a father accused of abusing his three daughters. Elsie is determined to see justice done but she is in for a wild ride. Not only does an important witness go missing, but the abused children also clam up and won't talk about their father.
fter the defendant terrorizes the courtroom, Elsie begins to receive threats from local extremists, suggesting she back off and mind her own business. It is then that the young prosecutor realizes that this town isn't interested in seeing justice done, and if a sex offender walks, the locals won't mind.
f her home area the author writes, '
We have the highest rate of abuse in the state. By writing this book, I hope to shed light on sex crimes against children, and the challenges of prosecuting these offenses.
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