Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.
Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths, but Lily does not believe that an old woman would wander out of the hills onto the tracks. In a county where everyone knows everyone, how can someone have disappeared, when nobody knew they were missing? As ghost stories and rumors settle into the consciousness of Moonvale Hollow, Lily tries to search for any real clues to the woman’s identity.
With the help of her friend Marvena Whitcomb, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—an asylum is northern Antioch County—and they begin to expose secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains.
As much as I love historical fiction, it never fails that I end up in a WWII rut and I bail on the genre without a second glance. And then I avoid the genre like the plague. So when presented with the opportunity to read The Hollows, which is set in Ohio in 1926, I jumped at the chance. I mean, a female sheriff, a murder mystery, potential ghosts. . . I’m in!
And I am happy to report that it was worth the read. There were so many of my favorite things happening in this book: strong women breaking the societal molds, a look behind the curtain into women’s relationships, a Murder mystery that kept me guessing until the very end, and a pace that perfectly matched the story. This is going to be an easy “recommend” for me.
I also really enjoyed the setting and the ambiance. The town and the landscape were so vivid in my mind, as were the outfits, the houses, the cars and buggies. And there was a gothic feel to the story, a dark foreboding that paired perfectly with the mystery of the murder and the other looming violence in the town. It all transported me back in time, and it was a delightful trip.
I’ll also mention that I read this book as a stand-alone, not realizing it was part of a series, and had no problem following the storyline. That being said, I’m running to grab the first book (The Widow) ASAP because I want more of this world? So yeah, that’s a highly recommend from me. 🙂
Book stats: hardcover, 352 pages, Minotaur Books, January 14, 2020