Stonewall Jackson's Elbow
Field of Schemes
and the Blame Game
Links to Online Reviews
Mined To Death
If failure analysis engineer Owen Allison has notions about returning to his life in California after an extended stay in his native West Virginia, those plans come to a halt when a local dam breaks, killing four people and sending a huge black river of coal sludge cascading throughout the region.
Mine owner Anson Stokes wants to hire Owen to figure out what happened, and with a little luck, persuade an environmentalist judge not to shut down the rest of the mine. But soon Owen realizes that the stickiness of the situation has very little to do with the black goo basting everything in the area, as much as a dirty game of graft, corruption and greed. When a local woman goes missing, and various enterprising but not very bright individuals try to scam insurance companies, Owen gets a glimmer of the ugly truth someone will go to murderous lengths to hide.
"John Billheimer, a West Virginia native, is rapidly becoming the Mountain States answer to Louisiana's James Lee Burke."
"...a puzzle so ingenious that...readers shoulda seen it coming--but they won't."
"Billheimer spins a taut, trim tale..."
--Providence Journal-Bulletin, Rhode Island
JOHN BILLHEIMER lives in Portola Valley, California. This is his fourth Owen Allison Mystery