Black Hills by Jennifer Schneider and Franklin Schneider
When Brooklyn private investigator Alice Riley reluctantly travels to Whitehurst, South Dakota, to investigate an assault charge against her ex-boss’s husband, she discovers more than just a tawdry small-town scandal. A surveyor for the local fracking operation, the accused was leading a dangerous double life—shacking up with a prostitute named Kim and overindulging in Whitehurst’s deadly new drug, a powerful stimulant called “devil dust.”
Out of her element in this badlands boomtown, Alice joins forces with the street-smart Kim, whose connections open doors some in town would rather keep closed. Working together, they descend into the heart of the local drug trade, unraveling a decades-old conspiracy that reaches to the top of Whitehurst’s social strata.
As Alice comes closer to cracking the case, however, people around her start disappearing. With the case and her life spinning out of control, Alice embarks on a single-minded, dust-fueled campaign to expose the truth—an effort that will take her to the darkest places imaginable.
Alice is a private investigator that has been asked by her former boss, Rachel to look into an assault charge against the Rachel’s husband, Robert. Alice heads to Whitehurst, South Dakota, an oil fracking town that resembles something out of the old West. It seems Robert is a geologist and now has charges for assaulting a prostitute that lands her in a coma. Currently Robert is staying with another prostitute, Kim and is experimenting with the local drug Devil’s Dust.
Alice finds herself with Kim looking into the charges and quickly finding out that there is more happening than just the assault. This is a small, tough town where a lot of things are shared and a lot of covered up. It is a dark and dirty story of Alice having to step out of the norm to find out what is really happening. But with determination and the help of Kim, Alice figures out the conspiracy.
Like I said, this is a dark and dirty story. It’s not for the faint of heart but it is worth the read. I loved the mystery. You are given bread crumbs but don’t get the chance to put them together until the end. There are no obvious who the killer is moments or the infamous how does the make an ending there are no clues for that ending. I loved Alice and Kim. Both are tough characters will to do what needs to be done.
This is a great mystery and one that I strongly recommend if you like your stories with a noir feel.
I received Black Hills from the publisher and Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.