Title: FALLEN MOUNTAINS
Author: Kimi Cunningham Grant
Read: December 2021
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 all the stars!
When Transom Shultz goes missing shortly after returning to his sleepy hometown of Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania, his secrets are not the only ones that threaten to emerge. Red, the sheriff, is haunted by the possibility that a crime Transom was involved in seventeen years earlier—a crime Red secretly helped cover up—may somehow be linked to his disappearance. Possum, the victim of that crime, wants revenge. Laney will do anything to keep Transom quiet about the careless mistake they made that could jeopardize her budding relationship. And Chase, once a close friend, reels from Transom’s betrayal of buying his family’s farm under false pretenses and ruthlessly logging it and leasing the mineral rights to Marcellus shale frackers.
As the search for Transom Shultz heats up and the inhabitants’ dark and tangled histories unfold, each one must decide whether to live under the brutal weight of the past or try to move beyond it.
What attracted me to this book:
I loved Kimi Cunningham Grant’s book THESE SILENT WOODS, so I had to rush out and read her previous novel FALLEN MOUNTAINS straight away – and I’m so glad I did!
Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania, is a sleepy, one-sheriff town set among farmland and forest that is gradually being taken over by logging and fracking companies since people can no longer make a living from farming alone. After Chase’s grandparents die, he is faced with losing the land his family have farmed for almost 200 years, because of the debts his grandfather has accrued trying to stay afloat. So when his best friend Transom Shultz, the son of the most affluent and influential family in town, offers to buy the farm and let Chase continue to live there, he jumps at the chance. But their life-long friendship is compromised when Transom starts selling out to the logging and oil companies and Chase witnesses the destruction of his beloved forests. So when Transom goes missing, he is the prime suspect. Until Sheriff Red starts investigating and finds that there are quite a few people in town who had reasons to dislike the charming but ruthless young man Transom Shultz has become ...
I loved everything about this book. From the small town setting, to the rich descriptions of Chase’s beloved woods, to the characters who were so real to me that I miss their presence now that I have finished the book. As with THESE SILENT WOODS, here the setting is as much a character as the people, and I loved reading about the forests surrounding Chase’s grandparents’ farm (which ultimately also broke my heart).
In fact, I have the biggest book hangover right now! As the story went along, I felt so solidly invested in the mystery that I simply could not stop reading. I am in awe of the author’s skill to present us with characters so richly drawn and complex that exploring them was like forging a new friendship. Even though I came to thoroughly dislike Transom in the course of the book, in the end I felt a slight sense of empathy even for him.
Words simply cannot do justice to the way this story captured my heart and my imagination. I was so sad when the story ended, knowing that a book like this doesn’t come around very often. FALLEN MOUNTAINS is a definite favourite for me, and one I am very happy to finish the year with. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author in future!