Read South of Hell by P.J. Parrish Online


Dig up the past. Pay the price. With one phone call from a man he barely recalls meeting years ago, South Florida detective Louis Kincaid heads to the Michigan town of his college days to reopen a disturbing cold case -- and finds himself confronting his own painful past secrets...secrets that risk his future with the woman he loves, detective Joe Frye. Ann Arbor polic Dig up the past. Pay the price. With one phone call from a man he barely recalls meeting years ago, South Florida detective Louis Kincaid heads to the Michigan town of his college days to reopen a disturbing cold case -- and finds himself confronting his own painful past secrets...secrets that risk his future with the woman he loves, detective Joe Frye. Ann Arbor police detective Jake Shockey wants Kincaid's help in the case of Jean Brandt, who went missing nine years ago -- and whose husband, Owen, has since been paroled. Now, Owen Brandt's girlfriend appears to be at risk, and Shockey is desperate to get involved. Kincaid soon unearths the deeply personal reasons why...and with Joe Frye assisting, Kincaid links yesterday's jealousies with today's potentially lethal vengeance. It's only a matter of time before one will win out over the other -- and before Kincaid's own shattering revelations will be forced out into the light of day....

Title : South of Hell
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416525882
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 385 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

South of Hell Reviews

  • Jill
    2019-03-29 19:13

    I'll say it again, this series just keeps getting better and better! PI Louis Kincaid heads back to Michigan in this story at the request of a homicide investigator who wants his input on a missing person case that Louis worked nine years ago. Of course the question is why is homicide working a missing person case and as Louis discovers there is a whole lot more to this case than what meets the eye. Joelle is already back in Michigan working as undersheriff in Echo Bay and is a critical piece in helping Louis solve this mystery, but their relationship is turning into a mystery itself. I can't wait to read the next one!

  • Alex
    2019-04-11 16:18

    SOUTH OF HELL (Pub. 2008) by P.J. Parrish was an enjoyable read. This was my first time reading a book by Parrish (a sisters writing team) and I will definitely read more of their work. The authors have a smooth writing style, and the story moves at a good pace. The story opens in an intriguing way, and largely held my interest all the way through. It is about a 16-yr old girl named Amy, who has been living with an elderly aunt, until the aunt dies. Amy is driven to return to her childhood home on a farm in Michigan, where she witnessed horrific abuse of her mother by the man she thinks is her father. Amy is there to find her mother, who Amy last saw being stabbed multiple times, and assumes she is dead. The author does not specify how many years passed between that event and Amy returning to the farm, which to me is one of the few weak spots of the story. The main character, Louis Kincaid, is a 29-yr old black man who is working as a P.I. because he was kicked off the police force. Kincaid is a recurring character in a series, and SOUTH OF HELL is several books into the series, but reads as a stand-alone. While I enjoyed Kincaid's role in the story, I can't say that he fascinated me enough as a character to drive me to read the rest of the series (like Jack Reacher).Kincaid receives a phone call from Detective Shockey, who is seeking his help to solve a years-old missing persons case--Amy's mother. But it turns out Shockey has a personal stake in the case and he breaks the law in several ways in trying to solve the case. Kincaid and Shockey end up out at the farm and discover Amy hiding in the cupboard, traumatized from PTSD/flashbacks and goes on from there.The climax is a whirlwind of violence, and ultimately we learn what happened to Amy's mother, which is the big mystery, and also learn the 'end' of a subplot related to another murder that occurred on the farm in 1850.All in all, SOUTH OF HELL is a good read. I really enjoyed the author's writing skills, but the story doesn't have enough pizzazz for my personal tastes to cause me to read this specific book again. But I can highly recommend the author's writing style and will definitely check out their other books.

  • Natalie
    2019-04-13 17:26

    Entertainingly fast read

  • Miche
    2019-04-23 15:23

    Worthwhile read - Story is well thought out and keeps you gripped until the end

  • Toria Bedell
    2019-04-03 17:29

    This book had a lot of twist and turns in it. Louis is call by a cop in Michigan to help with a cold case. Louis decides to go help him but soon learns this cop isn't telling him the truth. The missing women in the case has ties to the cop and Louis almost doesn't help him but something intrigued him with this one.

  • Mary
    2019-04-21 18:37

    I actually didn't finish. I had read another Parrish book I liked so picked this up. But the story/main characters weren't compelling enough to put up with the asshole character. So many of these guys in real life I just couldn't get in the mood. Maybe its my age:)

  • Wayne Zurl
    2019-03-25 17:23

    SOUTH OF HELL by PJ ParrishThere is a Hell on earth. In this case, it’s just northwest of Ann Arbor, Michigan along route 32. If you’re not familiar with the Louis Kincaid mysteries or P.J. Parrish, the author is/are two women—sisters. So, if I want to reference the writer(s), I will use plurals like the authors or the ladies and not perpetuate the fantasy that P.J. is one person.I liked a lot about this book, but there were a couple of glaring things with which I take strong exception. Perhaps it’s just this book, but I think it’s more about the series. And I’ve read a bunch of them and will read others—I just claim my inalienable right to argue with success. Louis receives a call from an Ann Arbor detective which whom he is remotely familiar from working there years ago. Jake Shockey wants Louis to help him shed light on a cold case of a missing woman who Shockey is certain was murdered by her ex-con husband who was recently released from prison. Why Kincaid would travel from south Florida to Michigan to help this guy with whom he is only slightly acquainted requires a little suspension of disbelief, but Louis writes it off as going up north to also see his girlfriend, who left Florida law enforcement to become an undersheriff in Leelanau County Michigan.Owen Brandt the ex-con is well constructed—a real low-life rat-bag. That’s good. More good comes in the shape of Amy Brandt, a teenager found crashing at the Brandt homestead which has been abandoned since Owen began his hard time. Fans of the paranormal might like the idea that Amy gets, what seems like, “messages” from someone dead since the mid-19th century. The authors do this aspect very well and make it uncertain whether this is really a paranormal adventure or if somewhere in the deep recesses of Amy’s mind there’s information that will shed light on her mother’s disappearance AND crimes of an earlier life. My complaint comes with the character development of Louis Kincaid and to a lesser degree, Joe Frye, his girlfriend. Louis seems to be a character wandering the country in search of a personality. Through back-story in every novel, the ladies tell us lots about his early life, but not enough for me to get into his present day head. He gets less dialogue than Clint Eastwood had in the spaghetti westerns. And Joe isn’t much better. Supposedly they love each other. They make love. They occasionally hang out together, but I see little affection or passion or personality rearing its head between them. I would like to see more to make these characters likable, identifiable, and larger than they presently are.The next complaint comes from the lady’s formulaic use of glaring mistakes made by Louis to create the contrived tension they (and presumably the editor and publisher) want to interject at the ¾ mark in the story. I understand the desire to crank up the reader’s interest, but the way the ladies do it destroys Louis’s credibility as a competent ex-cop / PI. Basically, he screws up big-time and almost gets himself killed—twice! I don’t want provide a “spoiler” here, but he does the same exceedingly stupid thing twice. Yikes! If I were his supervisor, I’d take the lad behind a diner and thrash him with a nightstick for such stupidity. It could have been done better, leaving Louis in jeopardy, but not leaving cops, ex-cops, and fans of good police procedurals disgusted with a protagonist they’re trying to like. Shockey also screws up, but his mistake is mitigated by alcohol use and being in a general blue funk at a time when he needed to be on top of his professional heap. There are a few very good characters in this: The psychiatrist who assists Joe and Louis with getting inside Amy’s head, the State police detective who becomes the obligatory semi-antagonist, Owen Brandt’s sleazy girlfriend, who, in the end, does the right thing, and a super-cool little girl named Lily are only a few.Readers less finicky than I will enjoy this book more. I know; I’m a pain in the ass with stuff like this. But I do recommend the book positively, and give it 3.5 stars.

  • Yvonne (Fiction Books)
    2019-04-18 22:34

    "Great Crime Fiction With A Thought Provoking Social Edge"This is my first brush with the character PI Louis Kincaid and by now he his into his ninth adventure, with the tenth case seemingly to be his last, as the author is launching a new character later in the year.In this instance though, I have no real urge to go back and read all Louis's earlier cases and history, not because it isn't a fantastic series, which it is, but because this book works great as a stand alone novel, and by now the character has been `fleshed out' and given his full personality, which is so complex and sensitive, that to read earlier books would probably be a retrograde step.Not only is this book a great thriller that kept me guessing right until the end, never really knowing what the final outcome would be, until the very last page, but it is also written with the keen attention to detail that made the characters believeable, well developed and real to me, drawing an immediate empathy from me, as I was so easily able to relate to them.This book is written, and almost comes across as two separate stories, covering two disparate worlds and periods of time; the hard hitting angle of a great piece of modern day crime fiction writing and an invaluable insight into the many social problems of society, both modern and historical.Louis Kincaid, born half black, into a small town, where prejudice is, even today, very much the norm. His mother passed away when he was young, his father abandoned him to a succession of foster homes, some good, some not so good. A law degree abandoned mid-way, for a career in the police, from where he is subsequently dismissed. He is now a PI, living on the edge of society, hated by the police, still an outcast in his home town and now living a very much anonymous life in the city, but unconsciously desperately trying to bring closure to his past and move on with his life.His long distance relationship, with a serving female police officer, who has moved far away, seeking promotion in her career, is strained to say the least and that loyalty and love is to be tested even further, when she is drawn into this complex and emotional case, initially against her will, but then with an increasing sense of need and fulfillment, that will either draw them closer together once again, or separate them forever.Louis is forced back to his roots, as if by an invisible cord, when a voice from his past asks for his help in solving a case and finds himself thrown headlong into prejudices he had hoped to try and leave behind, whilst being forced to face up to the resposibilities of a long ago action, which evokes feelings in him that he could never have imagined.The crime is one against a string of unfortunate women, perpetrated by a single man, so cruel and viciously violent, as to be vile to everyone who comes into contact with him. Could some of this madman's actions stem from stories of long abandoned `Underground Railroads to Canada', used by the slaves and found to be hidden on his land, or from the fact that, it transpires that there is a history of `black blood' in his family, which in an area where blacks are still only just tolerated, has sent his mind into a downward spiral, from which he is unable to escape?Seemingly, only one young girl, long ago abandoned to her fate, has the key to the answer. Amy is portrayed as a vulnerable, timid person, obviously frightened of Owen Brandt, yet having an inner depth and courage to face up to him, in order to solve the mystery of her mothers disappearance, one crime for which he has never been charged.Amy's transition into an emerging confident young woman, gathers pace as Owen Brandts capture comes closer, although she is prepared to place herself in terrible danger, to ensure that he is forced to pay for the crime and thus atone for the wrongs inflicted on her mother and all those unfortunate souls, from long ago.

  • Irrlicht
    2019-04-25 17:38

    Okay, also mit dem Buch haben sie mich irgendwie voll verarscht. Der Klappentext klang interessant, der Fall an sich sowieso und Thriller sind immer gut. (Naja, meistens.) Da ich allerdings eine Aversion gegen alle möglichen la-li „Lovestories“ habe, die absolut keinen Sinn machen, für die Handlung des Romans KOMPLETT unwichtig sind und/oder absolut an den Haaren herbeigezogen sind, habe ich das Buch mal oberflächlich durchgeblättert, ob ich etwas entdecke, das mich gleich angewidert abwinken lässt. Aber siehe da! Nur männliche Vornamen, außer der weiblichen Hauptperson, um die es geht: Das traumatisierte Mädchen! Keine fadenscheinige, traumatisierte Frau, für die besagtes Trauma nur erfunden wurde, damit sie möglichst schnell mit dem großen, starken (und wahrscheinlich mir ihr völlig inkompatiblen) Helden im nächsten Bett landen kann. (Kotzwürg!) Dass der Name „Joe“ doch tatsächlich die Abkürzung für den Namen „Joelle“ ist, konnte ich nun wirklich nicht ahnen! (Und mal ehrlich: Was für ein Name ist Joelle?)*tief seufz*Wie dem auch sei. Es endete jedenfalls damit, dass ich mich die Hälfte des Buches lang über die für den Fall völlig belanglosen Beziehungsprobleme der männlichen Hauptperson mit eben dieser Joelle aufgeregt habe, and den langweiligen und unsympathischen Charakteren fast verzweifelt wäre und letztendlich eigentlich nur wissen wollte, wie der Mordfall ausgeht. Der Fall an sich war auch ziemlich interessant, nimmt hinter dem ganzen Beziehungsdrama und dem restlichen Drumherum aber leider nur ca. ein viertel des Buches ein, was das Lesen für mich ein BISSCHEN anstrengend gemacht hat.Aus irgendwelchen Gründen mussten sie das Opfer/traumatisierte Mädchen dann auch noch leicht übersinnlich machen (á lá „Ich sehe tote Menschen.“), sodass sich das Buch irgendwie nicht so ganz entscheiden konnte, ob es jetzt natürlich oder übernatürlich ist und welcher Fall jetzt wichtiger: Der von dem aktuellen traumatisierten Mädchen oder der von vor keine Ahnung wieviel Jahren mit dem ermordeten Sklavenmädchen. Bla.Echt schade. Hätte ein guter Thriller werden können. So nur unter Durchschnitt.

  • drey
    2019-04-20 18:17

    I never knew there was a Hell in Michigan. Apparently there is, and so South of Hell is also a place — and one that’s not making it onto my must-visit list anytime soon. Not as long as I still have the heebie-jeebies from reading this book, that is.Louis Kincaid — former cop, current private investigator — is asked to return to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to help a cop solve a missing-person case that’s nine years old. When he gets there, he realizes that this was a case he’d looked at, and filed under “ran away”. Then things get a bit wonky.There’s a husband-slash-suspect, who might’ve killed the missing woman, and is just out on parole. There’s his girlfriend, who takes the abuse he heaps on her. There’s a mystery teenager hiding in a kitchen cupboard when Louis “visits” the farm that’s south of Hell. There’re bones buried in the barn on that farm, that predates all of them. Oh, and there’s a blast from Joe’s past that swings by with a surprise.Phew.All of that ties together, with help from a hypnotist, a cop-slash-girlfriend, and a really smart little girl. I was impressed and amazed by the depth of the characters, as well as the plot. Everything flowed seamlessly, everything wrapped up neatly (if not easily), and the characters, while flawed, were human. Well, except for the bad guy.South of Hell is one white-knuckled ride through some very unpleasant events, that will grab and hold your attention until you heave a sigh of relief at reaching the last page. And now I need to check out the previous 8 Louis Kincaid books. Thanks for adding to my TBR pile!drey’s rating: Excellent!

  • John
    2019-04-06 22:11

    This is my first PJ Parrish book. I found the characters of the investigators Louis Kincaid and Joette Frye highly interesting. The bad guy, Owen Brandt is a really bad guy. Such monsters do walk among us and very few get what they deserve. There are a lot of harsh memories entwined to make this a very good story, but hard to read. You'll never look at an old farm house in the country the same way again.The historical and personal perspectives regarding the underground railroad were a surprise, since I had little knowledge of how important it was in the lives of so many ordinary people. The young woman, Amy, is a character with such depth that I know we will be hearing from her again. Jake Schockley is unforgettable as a man haunted by the opportunities that we all miss at sometime in our lives.All of this made me want to read more by these writers. The next book I read was A Thousand Bones, giving the background of Joe Frye during her rookie year as a police officer in 1975. I found it refreshing that the authors have chosen a time period without cell phones and the internet, without lab rats pretending to be investigators. We've all become so used to being exposed to those things that the story often gets lost in the DNA analysis. This is written and should be read for the stories of the victims, the investigators and yes, even the criminal.

  • William Bentrim
    2019-03-26 22:22

    South of Hell by P.J. ParrishParrish (or should it be Parrishes) have crafted another entertaining thriller. Once again, Louis Kincaid a former cop who now is a P.I., is ensnared in OPP (other peoples problems). These problems involve maturity, death, philandering, friendship, love and perhaps a tiny pinch of the occult. Louis’s friend Mel plays a very small part in this book. His failing health saddens Louis. Louis’s girl friend is going to run for sheriff in Michigan. This driving of roots makes Louis aware of the widening rift with him and Joe. A Michigan detective requests Louis’s help on a case. It seems serendipitous to be paid to fly to Michigan so he incorporates his work and a reunion with Joe. Louis’s journal to see Joe is in an area of Michigan where multi-racial affairs may be seen askew. The reunion leads to his embroilment in not only an old murder but an even older murder. Amy and Lily, two children, share some similarities in their desire to reach their roots. Louis finds a part of himself that he never knew he lost. Joe discovers things about herself she never knew she had. There were both touching and highly disturbing scenes in this book. Overall, this was a better book than the previous Parrish book I read. I recommend the book.

  • Rebekkila
    2019-03-27 21:13

    With one phone call from a man he barely recalls meeting years ago, South Florida detective Louis Kincaid heads to the Michigan town of his college days to reopen a disturbing cold case-and finds himself confronting his won painful past secrets...secrets that risk his future with the woman he loves, detective Joe Frye.Ann Arbor police detective Jake Shockey wants Kincaid's help in the case of Jean Brandt, who went missing nine years ago-and whose husband Owen, has since been paroled. Now, Owen Brandt's girlfriend appears to be at risk, and Shockey is desperate to get involved. Kincaid soon unearths the deeply personal reasons why...and with Joe Frye assisting, Kincaid links yesterday's jealousies with today's potentially lethal vengeance. It's only a matter of time before one will win out over the other-and before Kincaid's own shattering revalations will be forced out into the light of day. I didn't like this book as much as I liked Island of Bones. I would recommend it.

  • Jody
    2019-04-10 22:40

    This is a Louis Kincaid book. There are several stories going on in this mystery novel. I can’t tell too much because there would be spoilers. He and Joe have problems during this book, but may get things settled. Louis ends up in Michigan where he’d gone to college to help out a police officer on a cold case. Someone has been missing, presumed dead, for many years. Now the officer wants the answers. Louis becomes acquainted with two girls, one an adolescent and the other younger. His life becomes intertwined with the girls and their families. History, both recent and in the time of the Underground Railroad, is an integral part of the book. I enjoyed reading about Louis and how he comes to terms with several things in his past. The mysteries involved are solved in the process.

  • Jenn
    2019-04-02 14:30

    A lot of these novels seem to include things that happened in the past. They hold quite a bit of black slavery history. At least the most recent ones I read did. I also find that the relationship between Joe and Louis is far from healthy and makes me wonder if it can last a lifetime. They both seem to have so many ghosts and skeletons in their closets. And communication between them is almost non-existent. It almost makes me cringe to read about it. At least the bastard in thus one totally got what he deserved. I still don't understand how abused women can stay with their abusers all in the name of love. It makes my stomach crawl.

  • Bebeth
    2019-04-11 17:10

    The latest in the series featuring PI Louis Kincaid and his girlfriend, undersheriff Jo Frye.They investigate the case of Jean Brandt, who disappeared nine years earlier, a few miles south of the town called Hell, Also seeking her is her violent husband and a homicide detective. Unexpectedly arriving on the scene is the ethereal Amy, the Brandt's missing daughter. The unearthing of a skeleton of a female slave from 1800's adds a further dimension.A satisfying conclusion neatly weaves past abd present crimes abd leaves you eager to read the next volume in the series.

  • Dee
    2019-04-25 14:10

    As usual the sisters from the Detroit area(known as P.J.Parrish) deliver a thriller. Hell is Hell,Michigan and it is fascinating to read about areas that are familiar.(I too am from the Detroit suburbs.) Louis Kincaid's personal life is meshed with the mystery he and his girlfriend Joe are investigating. The sweetness and innocense of the two young girls in the story help to lighten the dark and brutal happenings that are found to have taken place at this desolate farm.

  • Rabid Readers Reviews
    2019-04-09 14:34

    This novel was set in Hell, Michigan and a great deal of it took place in real life locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan...where I was raised. I like Louis Kincaid in a general sense. He's a PI who has had some hits in his life and some misses and moved to Florida to work as a detective. He returns to Ann Arbor, where he previously worked as a police officer to help solve a mystery with a paranormal bent.

  • Amy
    2019-03-25 20:29

    So I'm now being honest about my book reading. These PJ Parrish books came directly from my grandma, who recommends them highly. And for whatever reason I started reading the series, and was hooked. I usually don't read her other paperbacks that she recommends, but these are fun, murder/mystery stories. Quick read,and a pretty decent series. I think I'll actually start a Juanita bookshelf for her recommendations.

  • K.B. Walker
    2019-03-31 21:13

    This is another "new" author to me, found on a second hand book stall. It does make me wonder what will happen, as more people read e-books. I enjoyed this, particularly because it was set in Michigan, where I grew up. As crime fiction goes, I could imagine this happening and I liked that even though it made it more horrible in a way and left me feeling profoundly sad. It was an interesting twist to learn some of the history of the area, too. I will have a look at other books by this author.

  • Ayny
    2019-04-19 16:34

    I enjoyed the book, especially the Michigan setting, and history from the 1800's. It was gruesome if you dwelt on the descriptions and causes of death.Stubborn Joe and the stoic Louis are still struggling with their own romantic relationship amid heinous crimes, children and cold cases. It seems I am reading in reverse as I read #11 already

  • Dee
    2019-04-09 18:34

    South of Hell" by P.J. Parrish, A Florida detective is asked to come back to Michigan where he went to collage to reopen a cold case. The emotions run deep as we enter past and present!The story is Well written!I enjoyed the history aspect involving the underground railroad!The story is deep and chilling at times.I great read I highly recommend!I really enjoyed this book!

  • Pamela
    2019-04-07 15:20

    This book caught my eye because it's set in/around Hell, Michigan and I am a Michigander. It was well written, kept me engaged all the way through with lots of twists & turns in the plot, and the historical aspects regarding the underground railroad were really interesting. Throw in some pretty good humor as well & I give this murder mystery two thumbs up.

  • Kathrynn
    2019-04-06 17:13

    Ugh! Gave this book until page 62 (Chapter 9) to hook me and it failed miserably. Too many mundane details that had nothing to do with the case, i.e., ordering burgers in a strange way. Who cares? The story just did not move along and with the title like "South of Hell" I expected a good thriller. Boring and tedious.My first unfinished for 2010.

  • Laura
    2019-04-08 21:21

    Another great outing for Louis Kincaid who finds himself out of Florida and back in Michigan unofficially working a cold case. Parrish is always a good place to turn when you need a gripping mystery to take you away from your own life for a day. This one is particularily well-written. No spoilers here so if you want to know the plot you'll have to read it yourself!

  • Kona
    2019-04-14 14:12

    The "past life" recollections were a bit unbelievable especially after finding out the child wasn't even the daughter of the guy who was the descendant of the murdered slave. Let's keep it real... Otherwise, a pretty good murder mystery.

  • Byron Washington
    2019-04-25 14:15

    Wow!! P.J. Parrish has done it again. The early books of the Louis Kincaid adventures were good, but the latter books have been tremendous!! Read them if you enjoy really well written murder mysteries.

  • Andreasoldier
    2019-04-04 15:24

    Buried bodies. Domestic abuse, jealousy and slave ancestors. Is a little girl mixing reality with her personal history, or was she a murdered slave in a past case. The ending lets you decide, but its interesting crime story anyway.

  • Renee Jean
    2019-03-25 20:40

    PJ Parrish has a raw style I really enjoyed. The language was perfect even though occasionally obscene and the settings were strong and vibrant to the imagination. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

  • Naomi Blackburn
    2019-03-28 19:13

    PJ Parrish is just good readin'...There has not been one of the sisters books that I have not given 5 stars to I believe. The Louis Kincaid character is one that a reader can easily buddy up to and looks forward to getting to know more and more!