Cover image for Highway robbery
Highway robbery
Billheimer, John W.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000.
Physical Description:
290 pages ; 22 cm
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When road construction by WV's highway department uncovers human remains, everyone stops dead in their tracks -- even the over-zealous environmentalists protesting the highway's expansion. What starts as an investigation into the skeleton's identity turns deadly as Owen struggles to piece together the mysteries in Barkley's past and in his own family history.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

During road construction in Barkley, West Virginia, a human skull is found. Transportation inspector Owen Allison, who made his first appearance in Billheimer's debut novel, The Contrary Blues [BKL Ap 15 98], returns to his hometown of Barkley to investigate the three-decades-old human remains and is plunged deep into a mystery that has haunted his own family since he was a child. Although the plot here is a little thin--veteran mystery readers should have no trouble figuring out what's going on--Billheimer, an excellent prose stylist, possesses a genuine knack for creating fascinating, full-bodied characters. His dialogue is spot-on, too: it sounds like real words coming out of real people's mouths, not written-down words manufactured by a writer. That more than makes up for a mystery plot that isn't as strong as it should be. --David Pitt

Library Journal Review

In his second mystery after The Contrary Blues, largely unemployed risk consultant Owen Allsion returns to Barkley, WV, at the request of his other when a raod construction crew uncovers a skeleton. She believes the remains may be honest highway commissioner, who supposedly drowned in a dam collapse some 35 years earlier. So Owen delves into his family past and highway scandals, defends his brother (also a highway commissioner) who suddenly disappears, and looks for at leat one murderer. Low-key, competent narration; country characters, dry humor, and a surprise culprit; for most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.