To the struggling citizens of Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, it seems like an answered prayer: A development company wants to build a resort just outside town, complete with elegant hotel and spa, golf course, hiking trails. Most landowners happily sell their property except for Ballard McCoy. He inherited fifty acres in Raythune County from his father, who was killed along with Ballard’s mother and 117 others in the Buffalo Creek disaster of 1972.
Ballard was only two when the slag dam burst, sending millions of gallons of water rushing through the narrow valley. Ballard has always thought his father died trying to save his wife and child. But the development company’s president, Melinda Henninger, says otherwise: she says Micah McCoy abandoned his family in his haste to survive. If Ballard doesn’t sell, Henninger threatens to expose his father’s cowardice. When Henninger is found murdered, the most likely suspect is Ballard McCoy. Would a man kill just to protect his father’s reputation? That’s what county prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins must find out. But her investigation is complicated when she realizes her ex-husband, Sam, an attorney, used to represent Henninger’s development company. Bell must carve a path between the past and the future, between cynicism and hope, even as she searches for the truth about what really happened on Feb. 26, 1972, when the black water rose in a rolling wall of death.
AUTHOR: JULIA KELLER
TITLE: LAST RAGGED BREATH
GENRE: Crime, Thriller