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A Killing on the Hill: A Thriller

A gripping new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni.


The Great Depression. High-level corruption. And a murder that’s about to become Seattle’s hottest mystery. It’s the kind of story that can make a reporter’s career. If he lives to write about it.


Seattle, 1933. The city is in the grips of the Great Depression, Prohibition, and vice. Cutting his teeth on a small-time beat, hungry and ambitious young reporter William “Shoe” Shumacher gets a tip that could change his career. There’s been a murder at a social club on Profanity Hill—an underworld magnet for vice crimes only a privileged few can afford. The story is going to be front-page news, and Shoe is the first reporter on the scene.


The victim, Frankie Ray, is a former prizefighter. His accused killer? Club owner and mobster George Miller, who claims he pulled the trigger in self-defense. Soon the whole town’s talking, and Shoe’s first homicide is fast becoming the Trial of the Century. The more Shoe digs, the more he’s convinced nothing is as it seems. Not with a tangle of conflicting stories, an unlikely motive, and witnesses like Ray’s girlfriend, a glamour girl whose pretty lips are sealed. For now.


In a city steeped in Old West debauchery, Shoe’s following every lead to a very dangerous place—one that could bring him glory and fame or end his life.

​​Published by Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: April 9, 2024


"Dugoni scores a decisive win with this tale of greed, lust, and bloodshed: it’s chock-full of expertly drawn characters and plenty of historical lore, and its note-perfect noir atmosphere could accommodate James Cagney. Here’s hoping this gets the series treatment.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“Dugoni is a superb storyteller.”
The Boston Globe


“I would follow Robert Dugoni anywhere.”
—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“One of the best crime writers in the business.”
—Associated Press


“An author who seems like he hasn’t met a genre he can’t conquer.”


“Crime writing of the absolute highest order.”
Providence Journal


“The bottom line is that there’s not much Robert Dugoni can’t do. He can write anything. Which is why his latest book, on the heels of his already impressive backlist, is so intriguing…. To call it “gripping” doesn’t begin to do it justice. The fact is, it’s special and unlike anything else hitting bookstores right now.”
—Ryan Steck, author of The Real Book Spy

Book Club Questions

Book Club Questions

1) How does Robert Dugoni transport the reader back in time?

2) Talk about life in Seattle during the Great Depression and Prohibition.

3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of making William “Shoe” Shumacher a young reporter?

4) What cultural conflicts are in place between Shoe and Amara?

5) Why do criminals have a level of prestige and celebrity around this time?

6) Miscommunication is a central theme around Shoe, his life and job, and the case. What other themes are prevalent in the story?

7) How was the justice system different at this time?

8) Are Frankie Ray and his girlfriend sympathetic characters?

9) If this is the start of a series, what should Shoe investigate next?

10) What section of the book surprised you the most?

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