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Breakheart Hill [Paperback]

Thomas H. Cook
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 April 2007

This is the darkest story that I ever heard…' It is a story that began with love and led to the destruction of a young woman's life. It is a story that has not ended, even thirty years after the afternoon Kelli Troy's battered body was found on Breakheart Hill. Not for the small town of Choctaw, Alabama. Not for the handful of people Kelli knew in 1962, whose lives were changed forever by that day's shattering violence. And not for Dr Ben Wade, once the boy who loved her, now one of Choctaw's revered citizens, and the only person who holds all the pieces of the complicated puzzle of what happened that summer long ago…



Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; New Ed edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847241239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847241238
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Cook has crafted a novel of stunning power, with a climax that is so unexpected the reader may think he has cheated. But there is no cheating here, only excellent storytelling.' Booklist



Haunting, lyrical… Cook breathes such life into the young people and their insular world that one's heart aches for days gone by and dreams turned to dust.' Star Tribune

From the Back Cover

“This is the darkest story that I ever heard and all my life I have laboured not to tell it…” There is no love like your first love, and Ben Wade's love for Kelli Troy should have lasted a lifetime. Until her battered body was found on Breakheart Hill. Three decades later, and the small town of Choctaw, Alabama is still living with the aftermath of that day's shattering violence. Ben, in particular, has never been able to move on. Because he is the only one who knows exactly what happened that summer long ago.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a 'Crime' novel. 24 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Anyone familiar with Thomas H Cook's work will tell you that this is one of, if not the best book he has written. As with all Cook's novels, he manages to combine a brilliantly crafted thriller with a devastating critique on a facet of American life; in this case the small town South.In telling the story through Ben Wade's reminiscence of a teenage crush that went tragically wrong, Cook manages to highlight the ambiguities and denial of the American South during a time of great social change; namely in the form of the 'Negro' question. At first one gets the impression that the town of Choctaw is destined to be unaffected by the changes all around them. But the arrival of Kelly, a dark, sensitive and beautiful young girl, unleashes powerful emotions among her fellow school friends, but especially Ben. Their response to these emotions ultimately ends in tragedy. This story will stay with you for a long long time!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book superbly and sensitively written 21 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My first experience of a Thomas H Cook novel which left me very impressed.
Cook captures superbly the impact of a dark and traumatic event on a small southern US town.
He deals beautifully with the complex emotions associated with not only first love, but also middle and old age.
The atmosphere generated by his writing transported me to Choctaw and allowed me to feel what the inhabitants themselves may have been feeling when confronted with, and dealing with in their varying ways, the horror of the attack on Kelli Troy.
The suspense left me wanting to devour information that would allow me to solve the riddle of "who done it" well before the surprise ending arrived.
Excellent !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakheart Hill 22 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback
A fantastic read. Drama is created in a stunning fashion throughout with the reader is kept in suspense; not knowing quite what happened in the past. The ending was sublime with an unexpected twist in the tail. This is the first book that I have read by this author but it won't be the last.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book! 13 Feb 2001
Format:Paperback
This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I have read it several times. Beautifully written, exceptional characterization and plotting, with a surprise ending that might break your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas H. Cook - Breakheart Hill 14 Jun 2007
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Since reading Red Leaves, I've devoured all Cook's books readily available in the UK (basically, those three published by Quercus), and have found each one to live up to the promise of that first one I tried. So far, neither (The Murmur of Stones or Breakheart Hill) betters Red Leaves for it's beauty and shattering power, but this one comes the closest. Cook writes so sensitively, with such strange and entrancing imagery, that it's hard not to be enraptured. He can occasionally be melodramatic, but that's fine for a crime novel. The way he tells his stories - which is similar to how Kazuo Ishiguro narrates his novels - through the prism of chopping-and-changing unreliable memory, ensures the reader is always on their toes, and is always waiting for something to be revealed. The sucess of his books does seem to rely on the conclusion (all that suspenseful build-up needs something big at the end to satisfy the reader), and, in The Murmur of Stones it wasn't so strong, but with this book the conclusion is almost as strong and brilliant as Red Leaves, making this another excellent crime novel. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale 1 Mar 2009
By Jante
Format:Paperback
I finished reading this book a few days ago, wished it had gone on for longer. I enjoyed it so much. This is the first book from this author that I have read and will most certainly be reading more of his books. A haunting tale, each time Ben looked towards Breakheart hill, I felt so many emotions, attempting to feel just how I would feel knowing what he knew, and kept it a secret for sooo long!I cannot write a more worthy review of this excellent book than the other 'reviewers' have already done. All I can say do read it you won't be disappointed.
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