Download Last Ragged Breath Audiobook

Last Ragged Breath Audiobook, by Julia Keller Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Julia Keller Narrator: Shannon McManus Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Bell Elkins Novels Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781480575387
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From the night-black depths of a coalmine to the sun-struck peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, from a riveting murder mystery to a poignant meditation on the meaning of love and family, the latest novel in the critically acclaimed series strikes out for new territory: the sorrow and outrage that spring from a real-life chapter in West Virginia history.

Royce Dillard doesn't remember much about the day his parents—and one hundred and twenty-three other souls—died in the 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster. He was only two years old when he was ripped from his mother's arms. But now Dillard, who lives off the grid with only a passel of dogs for company, is fighting for his life one more time: he's on trial for murder.

Prosecutor Bell Elkins faces her toughest challenge yet in this haunting story of vengeance, greed, and the fierce struggle for social justice. Richly imagined, vividly written, and deeply felt, Last Ragged Breath is set in West Virginia, but it really takes place in a land we all know: the country called home.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What particularly distinguishes Julia Keller’s series about Bell Elkins, a West Virginia prosecutor, is its sense of social conscience…powerfully affecting when matched with the right character and story…It’s wonderful to see mystery series as literary and reflective as this one flourish.”

    USA Today

  • “A beautifully crafted mystery in which Keller explores love, hate, and poverty in a place of stunning natural beauty with pockets of overwhelming ugliness. The ending may leave you in tears.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “An intense study of childhood trauma and corporate malfeasance…Keller conveys smalltown mind-sets with a folksy style that richly evokes a part of Appalachia still grappling with its past.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This gritty series, with its unflinching depiction of rural poverty in West Virginia, keeps getting better. In the fourth entry…county prosecutor Bell Elkins, not quite convinced of Royce’s guilt, faces her toughest job yet.”

    Library Journal

  • “This novel—like its three predecessors—is elevated far above the ordinary by masterful character development and a keen sense of place. With bits of her backstory still being revealed, Elkins is certainly among the best-drawn characters in crime fiction today.”


  • “Keller is a wonderful writer, with well-timed humor and pop culture references. Narrator Shannon McManus does a great job voicing the characters. Verdict: This work is recommended on its own merits and will surely entice new fans to visit earlier titles in the series. Those who enjoy Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, and similar authors should take a look.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

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About the Author

Julia Keller was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Ohio. In her career as a journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a three-part series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune about a small town in Illinois rocked by a deadly tornado. A Killing in the Hills was her first mystery.

About the Narrator

Shannon McManus, award-winning narrator, is a Los Angeles–based actor, writer, and voice artist. Her natural vocal abilities and extensive theater training have led to work in audiobook narration, commercial voice-over, and animation. Critical praise includes an Audiofile Earphones Award and a Publishers Weekly Listen Up! Award in children’s and young adult fiction.