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Karen Harper

Karen Harper discusses the seduction of small towns

in Fiction by

I love to set my suspense novels in American small towns. I’ve used Amish locations, and my latest Cold Creek trilogy is set on the edge of Appalachia. One big reason is that, in rural areas, the enemy is often “us.” Chances are the kidnapper (as in Shattered Secrets) or murderer (like in Broken Bonds) is someone the heroine knows, and that brings in treachery and betrayal. Impersonal crimes are one thing, but a crime by someone known and trusted—tragic and doubly suspenseful. Also, from our “Wild West” days on in this country, there is some allure about small towns. But rural escapism and beauty can be deceptive. Law enforcement can be distant or understaffed, which puts the burden for…

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