- Paperback: 301 pages
- Published: 4/1/03
- IBSN: 9781888451405
- Genre: Fiction
By William Heffernan, the author of The Corsican and Cityside.
“The whispered revelations that come spilling out of Beulah Hill are like ghostly voices you sometimes hear in the attic—soft, sad and disturbingly urgent.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Breathtaking and thought-provoking.”
—London Free Press
A novel of rare literary distinction—an erotic thriller combined with a true mystery, and a look back at a little-known part of the American societal patchwork—Beulah Hill, by bestselling author William Heffernan, is a brilliant and deeply original work of fiction.
Set in the 1930s, the story follows the investigation of a racially motivated murder in a rural Vermont town and the shocking ramifications it has on that backwoods community, which had once served as a stopping place for runaway slaves. Having made new lives for themselves there, many of these former slaves married interracially, and their progeny became what was known as “bleached.” The result was an atmosphere of tension and distrust that—as so vividly rendered in this novel—occasionally exploded in acts of violence . . . and even murder.
At a time when the Great Depression had created widespread fear and Hitler was just beginning his reign in Germany, Beulah Hill tells the story of a white man who was murdered in an almost ritualistic manner on land owned by the only remaining black family in that small town. Heading the investigation is a young constable who is himself a deeply conflicted member of the “bleached” underclass and who is intimately involved with the proud and headstrong black woman at the center of the killing.
WILLIAM HEFFERNAN is the Edgar Award–winning author of nineteen novels, including the international best sellers The Corsican and The Dinosaur Club, as well as The Dead Detective, When Johnny Came Marching Home, A Time Gone By, Cityside, and Beulah Hill. He divides his time between his forty-foot trawler in Florida and visits to his children around the country. Prior to turning to fiction thirty-six years ago, Heffernan was a New York City newspaper reporter who was nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. The Scientology Murders is his latest novel.