Kilman's Landing

 

Kilman's Landing
by
Edwin Corley (as William Judson)

Mason / Charter – New York – 1976 Hardcover
Pocket Book Edition – New York – 1977 Paperback

George Waddy can't make sense of the place.  It's so far out in the sticks it's not even on the map. There's no visible industry. But the town is totally self sufficient: there's plenty of money for everything. Children are educated by ordinary townspeople, yet they score higher than any city kids when they take exams in Vicksburg, the nearest town of any size. The only thing the people of Kilman's Landing would be likely to die of, George imagines, is boredom.

Yet he's been there only a short time before he attends the funeral of 18-year old Susan Barbour. Her grandfather says it was an accident -- but something in the back of George's mind says murder.

Recuperating from a knife wound he can't remember how or when he got, George is told to get well and get out of Kilman's Landing before it's too late. Not even Pauline, the girl who saved his life, will break the town's vow of silence about their ways. (Why does no one dare to disobey old Miz Cooley, the paralyzed woman who owns the general store?)

George is humanly curious, and people do let things slip: he hears someone call the town "Killville"; and he learns of deposit slips from a Swiss bank account than range from $100,000 to $1,000,000.

Something very strange, if not sinister, goes on in Kilman's Landing. With his own memory slowly returning  -- revealing a life way outside the law -- George Waddy is caught between the desire to run and the knowledge that if he does, he may not make it out alive.