The Hollows: A Novel (The Kinship Series)
Following up on her successful 2019 mystery, The Widows, Montgomery revisits 1920s Appalachian Ohio in The Hollows. Feisty Sheriff Lily Ross, a character based on the real-life Maude Collins, in 1925 the first female sheriff elected in Ohio, is confounded by the death of an elderly woman, wearing only a nightgown, whose body is discovered near an allegedly haunted railroad tunnel in Moonvale Hollow.
How is it that in Lily’s small and close-knit Appalachian county no one can identify the woman? Where did she come from? Was her death an accident? A suicide, or murder? As Lily works to discover the answer to this mystery with the help of her friends, Marvena Whitcomb and Hildy Cooper, long-buried secrets of some of the most influential people in the community begin to emerge, and they aren’t pretty. She finds that bigotry and racism have been a part of the region’s history, and now it seems history is repeating itself in horrible and violent ways.
As if that wasn’t enough, Lily is also a widow and the mother of three children. She struggles to be mother and sheriff in a time when women were not considered equal to men in any way and were supposed to know their “place.”
Montgomery, an Ohioan, renders a colorful and authentic image of Appalachian Ohio, its people and culture. She has a keen ear for the voices of the people, so the dialogue rings true. The Hollows is a finely crafted, exciting page-turner and is highly recommended for readers of historical mysteries and anyone interested in novels of strong and empowered women.