Code of the Hills
by Chris Offutt
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Pub Date 13 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 13 Jun 2023
Grove Atlantic, Grove Press
In this blistering return to Chris Offutt’s acclaimed crime series, Mick Hardin is tested like never before as familial allegiances and old wounds collide, threatening to destroy everything he loves
With his signature crackling prose, literary master Chris Offutt has staked out his own territory in crime fiction, a place of familial allegiances, old wounds, and revenge—the code of the hills. His new book, a sharp, twisty southern noir with echoes of James Sallis and Daniel Woodrell, will force Mick to face up to the way of life he thought he’d escaped.
Mick Hardin is supposed to be retired, transitioning to civilian life. Back in the hills of Kentucky after a two-year absence, he’d planned to touch down briefly before heading to France, marking the end of his twenty-year Army career.
But in Rocksalt, trouble is brewing. Mick’s sister Linda, recently reelected as sheriff, and her deputy Johnny Boy Tolliver are investigating the murder of Pete Lowe, a sought-after mechanic at the local racetrack. Mick doesn’t want to get involved—he wants to say his goodbyes and get out of Dodge. But when he reluctantly agrees to intervene in a family dispute requiring a light touch, he uncovers evidence of an illegal cockfighting ring and another body, somehow linked to the first. And then, Linda steps into harm’s way, leaving Mick to solve the crimes himself.
Code of the Hills is a harrowing novel of family—of what we’re willing to do to protect and avenge the ones we love.