Code of the Hills

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$27.00  $25.11
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 1.2 inches | 0.79 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
CHRIS OFFUTT is the author of the novels Shifty's
Boys, The Killing Hills, Country Dark
, and The Good Brother;
the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out
of the Woods
, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No
, and My Father, the Pornographer. He has written
screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme,
and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. He
lives near Oxford, Mississippi
Praise for Code of the Hills

A Deadly Pleasures Best Mystery/Crime Novel of 2023

"[A] terrific series"--Boston Globe

"Another welcome slice of rural Kentucky noir."--The Times (UK)

"Offutt's storytelling captures the authentic spirit of Southern rural communities. There is colloquial language. There's a little gossip. There's atmosphere, too. Code of the Hills is consuming, both as a thriller and as a story about Southern life and family."--Bradley Sides, Chapter 16

"Offutt once again demonstrates his command of the detective form, delivering well-plotted satisfactions that still spurn cliché. His prose expertly conveys a blend of child-like wonder at the ragged beauties of the Appalachian hills with deep pessimism over humanity's awful capacities. Less about elaborate conspiracies or a fathomless underworld, Code of the Hills puts the naïve intimacies, pathetic pettiness, and moral dilemmas of its subjects under the microscope. The conclusion is quiet but startling, with an emotional weight belying its calm surface."--Walker Minot, Shelf Awareness

"The characters are folks you can identify with, the style is honest and captivating, and the stories are always amazing."--Vishwesh Bhatt, Garden & Gun

"Excellent Kentucky noir--Offutt's third Mick Hardin novel is the best yet . . . Offutt once again beautifully captures both the roughness and the generosity of the inhabitants of Rocksalt, both the menace and the beauty of the eastern Kentucky landscape. The dialogue is a highlight, consistently sharp, quick, and funny; in that, Offutt is rapidly becoming a rural-noir rival to greats like Elmore Leonard . . . Another love letter to Appalachia with a high body count. Another bloody delight."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"In Offutt's third Hardin title . . . Mick continues to be a wonderful character--strong, resilient, compassionate--and here we see him very much in family-man mode, a man who is deeply concerned for his sister but also a man who values a close-knit community. Offutt is from Kentucky and often writes about it . . . Rocksalt is as much a character as its people, and the author writes about them all with the kind of intimacy and perceptiveness that comes from a long and ardently observant association. More Mick Hardin stories, please."--Booklist

"The writing in
the follow-up to Shifty's Boys is as beautifully descriptive of the
scenes in Detroit as in the Kentucky hills. Offutt's Mick Hardin novels are
powerful books that feature characters with questionable ethics."--Lesa
Holstine, Library Journal (starred review)

"Kentucky noir, with a twist. Or two or three. Offutt delivers a dirty, dangerous, suspenseful, page-turning tale that takes us from the vengeful Kentucky hill country to the gun-ridden streets of Detroit and back again. He plays with the conventions of the genre as well by making character and storytelling higher priorities than plot . . . each chapter functions as a deftly written short story. It's a pleasure to read . . . You have a treat in store."--Reckon Review

Praise for Shifty's Boys

A Deadly Pleasures Pick for Best of Southern Noir 2022

"The writing is top-notch, shot through with menace and melancholy."--Sarah Weinman, New York Times Book Review

"Righteous Kentucky noir with top notes of Daniel Woodrell and SA Cosby. I gulped it down, relishing the burn"--Ian Rankin

"Rich in atmospherics and a master-class in the craft of crime fiction... Offutt has created a wildly compelling private eye series full of memorable characters, drawn with an observant eye and passion for local terrain."--Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads

"Another excellent Mick Hardin thriller set in rural eastern Kentucky... Come for the thriller, by all means; it delivers nicely. But stay for, and linger in, the marvelous incidentals and atmospherics: arguments about mall names; lore about snakes and birds and mushrooms; descriptions of a local shade-tree tinkerer's Slinky-like version of a perpetual motion machine. Terrific characters; taut suspense. Another winner from Offutt." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"This is country noir at its most powerful, combining cracking action with crystalline portraits of rough-hewn but savvy characters tragically forced to become "retribution killers" to stop yet another cycle of violence." --Bill Ott, Booklist (Starred Review)"Readers will appreciate the novel's respectful portrayal of the contemporary South as they ride along with Mick on his fair-minded, almost spiritual quest to root out the truth. Fans of contemporary small-town mysteries will look forward to Offutt's next."--Publishers Weekly"In elegant, economical prose, Shifty's Boys is an accomplished addition to the ranks of country noir."--Val McDermid, author of 1989"With The Killing Hills and now Shifty's Boys, Chris Offutt has launched a fantastic and compelling new crime novel series, and as a reader you may come to these books for the murders and the mysteries, rendered as they are with great page-turning style and thrilling action, but there's even more at work here. These books are also about a place and its people, and the result is a vivid portrait infused with insight and wisdom, humanity and affection. I eagerly await the next Mick Hardin!"--Jonathan Ames, author of A Man Named Doll "SHIFTY'S BOYS is a tale of vengeance that asks difficult questions about the nature and value of honor, every line delivered with the relentless efficiency of a wolf stripping meat from a bone. In Mick Hardin, Chris Offutt has created a complex, brooding hero, a man whose moral code was hewn from Kentucky hill-country rock. As his world turns darker and dirtier by the minute, once the brutal work is done, we are left with only a few words. More Mick, please."--Christopher J. Yates, author of Grist Mill Road"How can it be that after just two of Chris Offutt's Mick Hardin novels I love a bunch of the characters like they were my own family? I'm not even from Kentucky. And how can it be that these books are as thrilling and funny as a great crime show yet still exhibit the scraped, lean vernacular sentences readers of Offutt's short fiction have come to admire? Here's hoping Hardin rides for a good long while."--Jonathan Lethem"Shifty's Boys is an economical, richly imagined crime story. [A] rare rural noir thriller." --Deadly Pleasures "In just two relatively short novels, Chris Offutt has made me a dedicated fan of this series which I will eagerly read as each new episode comes out. Write faster, Chris."--Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

"Offutt has written a propulsive literary thriller with an intricate plot that tests Hardin's mettle throughout the book. His characters are true to the area, and his keen eye for the local setting transports the reader to Appalachia. Let's hope Offutt's hills don't change in his next Mick Hardin novel, so we can revisit Rocksalt, Kentucky, very soon."--Wayne Catan, Chapter 16

"A riveting thrill ride."--Deep South Magazine

"Offutt loves his characters enough to give them life. With them, we can grieve or laugh... Offutt's novel is replete with details that brand the humanity pictured within as real, because you can't make this stuff up."--Cathy Downs, Reviewing the Evidence

"Offutt has really hit his stride in this second installment. I could not flip the pages fast enough."--Vick Mickunas, Book Nook

"Chris Offutt's mastery of sense of place is still in full bloom... It's a contemporary western, and in westerns primal feelings win out and revenge tastes of blood and loneliness."--James Owen, The Times (UK)