"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
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 con-stable 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, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, is the author of 15 novels, including such bestsellers as The Corsican, The Dinosaur Club (a New York Times bestseller), Tarnished Blue (Edgar Award winner) and Cityside (forthcoming from Akashic in trade paperback in fall 2003). He lives in Vermont with his wife and three sons.