Fast Falls the Night

Julia Keller's sixth novel featuring Raythune County prosecutor Bell Elkins is disturbingly familiar. Taking place over 24 hours, Fast Falls the Night narrates an especially brutal chapter of the heroin epidemic in Acker's Gap, W.Va.

When Sheriff's Deputy Jake Oakes responds to a call for a possible overdose, the scene isn't a new one. Drugs are running rampant in the small Appalachian town. Knowing the woman's chances of survival are bleak, Jake does his job, turns the situation over to the paramedics and moves on. What he isn't prepared for is the rash of overdoses and deaths that follow this first, sadly common tragedy.

The sheriff's department and emergency squads are strained by the unceasing reports of overdoses, and Bell Elkins must decide how much of the town's thin resources can be funneled into a search for the dealer and the deadly heroin. Throughout the day, her phone continues to chime with new messages of more overdoses, and she knows they must do something.
Keller (A Killing in the Hills) presents the opioid crisis with compassion and empathy. A doctor emotionally declares, "The victims of nine-eleven were professionals. Bankers and attorneys and executives. People who mattered. But these--these addicts--did this to themselves." Through the plot's events, Keller counters his attitude, revealing it to be shortsighted, selfish and unforgivable. Fast Falls the Night is undoubtedly dark and gritty, but it's also so beautifully and humanely written that a glimmer of hope is sure to light in every reader. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Powered by: Xtenit