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The Possum Gap Novels

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Surrounded by wilderness is Possum Gap, the isolated town in Kentucky where dark secrets and violence runs rife among its people.

In this forlorn place, no-nonsense, down-to-earth sheriff, Sadie Mills, does her best to bring order and justice to a community struggling with crime, drug overdoses, and hopelessness. Aiding her is Coroner Raymond Russo, who fled New Jersey for a simpler life in rural America in a last-ditch effort to escape a family crime syndicate.

When the body of a young man is recovered from the Puissant River, evidence leads Sheriff Mills to a cold case murder and a rundown cabin in the woods. The hill country is a dangerous place, and Sadie doesn’t know if she can trust John Dover, the mysterious loner and member of the notorious Dover clan who offers to help her uncover the truth.

Events take a tragic turn when a teenaged boy from the nearby Amish settlement goes missing and Sadie suspects the cases are connected. And just when Sadie doesn’t think things can get any worse, Russo’s family shows up with revenge on their minds.

As things heat up in Possum Gap, a horrific tale from the past emerges that threatens not only Sadie’s life, but everyone she holds dear. Will the hill people unite against an outside threat to save their sheriff or leave her and the authority she represents to fate? It’s a race against time to save the lost Amish boy and battle an unthinkable evil.

Dark Hollow Road is the second novel in the gripping, addictive Possum Gap crime thriller/mystery series and it has ties to Serenity's Plain Secrets!

Readers' Favorite Review
"Karen Ann Hopkins weaves a gripping murder mystery yarn with twists and turns galore. Every time you feel you've figured out the plot, Hopkins pulls the rug from under your feet over and over again. All the main characters have well-thought-out backstories and their own plot threads that make them seem like real people with real emotions, motives, and inner conflicts. The town of Possum Gap feels lived-in, with the members of the Dover clan bringing a colorful dynamic to the proceedings, especially the scenes involving Grandma Dover. Hopkins keeps her cards close to her chest as the complete mystery only gets revealed in the last few pages. I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Hollow Road and am looking forward to reading other books from the series."

Readers' Favorite Review
"I very much enjoyed reading Dark Hollow Road. It has crime, thrills, mystery, excitement, and friendship as its base with likable characters and an interesting plot. The ending is exciting and turns into a 'can't put it down' page-turner. Karen Ann Hopkins described the hill country, the Amish community, and the problems between the different sets of people in a way that made them feel alive and real. Dark Hollow Road covers many genres and is just an excellent, all-round story for anyone who enjoys reading about life in the backcountry with a crime story for flavoring."

Book Sirens' Review
"It's a great read if you enjoy the Serenity Adam's series you'll enjoy this one!"

Readers' Favorite Review
"Dark Hollow Road by Karen Ann Hopkins is an excellent sequel to Free From Sin. The plot is solid and well-developed. The characters are authentic and show growth, while the novel is filled with well-rounded characters and fast-paced and heart-stopping action. Sadie Mills does not have a weak bone in her body. She epitomizes the strong female lead and never backs down in her search for the truth and in bringing closure to the families of the victims she has to deal with. With each book focusing on the story from Sadie and two other characters' points of view, the reader has deeper insight into the plot and its development. I look forward to the third book, where Sadie Mills and Serenity Adams from Bloods Rock work together."

Book Sirens' Review
"This is a really fast paced, well plotted and interesting read. It is told mainly from Sadie's view, but also by Russo and Lucinda, an Amish housewife. Not knowing much about the Amish, it's interesting to read not only about their lifestyle, but also that of small town America and the hill communities. This is the second in the Possum Gap series and fits in nicely with this authors Serenity's Plain Secrets series, both featuring a strong independent woman. I read this in one sitting, late into the night, and loved it. Roll on the next in the series."

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FREE FROM SIN is a gripping psychological crime thriller/mystery story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely women in the hills of Kentucky, and the explosive results when a troubled teenager has her day of reckoning.

Sheriff Sadie Mills navigates the challenges of single motherhood while solving crimes in the rural community of Possum Gap, Kentucky. The recent trailer shootings in her jurisdiction have her on edge, and the new coroner, a Yankee transplant from the east coast, is still adjusting to life in the wilderness when all hell breaks loose. Cases stemming from an out-of-control hillbilly clan, sex trafficking, and a murder in the nearby Amish community collide, and Sheriff Mills finds herself in a race to stop a serial killer before they strike again.

Lucinda Coblentz is a devoted wife, mother, and member of a strict religious order. Her kind and generous ways make her the perfect target of a master manipulator and has put her beloved family in grave danger. Can she make matters right before it’s too late?

Charlie Baker endured years of torment by a wicked stepfather and a coldhearted mother before she finally escaped her suffering. Now eighteen, her powerful journey takes her between two worlds, one good and the other evil. Struggling to cope with buried secrets and the demons from her past, she’ll stop at nothing in her search for the one thing that has always eluded her—happiness.

Critique from advanced copy reader:

Free From Sin is a well-paced and balanced crime thriller which juxtaposes three models of womanhood, if you will, in a manner that is plausible, engaging, and somehow non-judgmental, which is a striking accomplishment.



5 Star Readers' Favorite Review
In this truly gripping story set in the Kentucky countryside, we encounter three central female protagonists as their lives collide in the most unpredictable way. It is always so refreshing to read a strong female-led work of crime fiction, especially when the cast of characters is as rich and varied as those that author Karen Ann Hopkins has so lovingly crafted...I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Free From Sin to fans of well-penned crime, thriller, and mystery fiction. A truly unmissable read. 

5 Star Reader's Favorite Review
Free From Sin (A Possum Gap Novel Book 1) by Karen Ann Hopkins is an adventurous psychological thriller that takes us to the wild back hills of Kentucky...She tells a story in a clear and concise narrative, with a beautifully paced plot and storyline. I particularly enjoyed the surprise revelations about Charlie that were woven into the narrative. This is a simple, yet immensely satisfying read and one I can highly recommend. 

5 Star Reader's Favorite Review
I love the Serenity Plains Books, and this series follows in its footsteps, with strong female characters and a story of how circumstances can determine a person's life.

5 Star Book Sirens' Review
A new sheriff and a new setting but the same thriller/mystery style story we know and love from Karen Ann Hopkins in her Serenity's Plain Secret's series.

Rave Review From Liz's Book Reviews
I loved this book!

5 Star Book Sirens' Review
This is a must read for all thriller lovers.

5 Star Book Sirens' Review
Extremely satisfying ending with just a hint of what is to come.

Booklife Review
Readers who relish strong female leads will enjoy this suspensful but nuanced crime novel...great for fans of Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series, Vannetta Chapman's Shipshewana Amish mystery series, and Chris Offutt's The Killing Hills.


Releases on 12/19/23!!

Rush Into Evil is a chilling and atmospheric continuation of the addictive Possum Gap series.

When a fiery-haired Dover woman is found dead in a remote mountain campsite, the matriarch of the hill people demands justice.

The gruesome murder scene is like nothing Sheriff Sadie Mills has ever seen before and as she navigates backwoods’ politics, her search for the truth becomes a fight for survival.

Surrounded by wilderness is Possum Gap, the isolated town in Kentucky where dark secrets and violence runs rife among its people.

In this forlorn place, no-nonsense, down-to-earth sheriff, Sadie Mills, does her best to bring order and justice to a community struggling with crime, drug overdoses, and hopelessness. Aiding her is Coroner Raymond Russo, who fled New Jersey for a simpler life in rural America in a last-ditch effort to escape a family crime syndicate.

As a battle between rival clans looms and a natural disaster threatens Possum Gap's very existence, Sadie and Russo race to find the killer before they strike again.

5 Star Readers' Favorite Review for RUSH INTO EVIL:

"You will be flipping from cover to cover once you dive into this page-turner. Featuring a fascinating and dynamic cast, Karen Ann Hopkins weaves a tangled web of mystery around an ingenious plot. The spell-binding plot twists and subtle tone of the storyline had me on the edge of my seat. Hopkins gives just enough detail so as not to bog down the pace. The evocative depictions colorfully brought the scenes to life, sending me into the world of small-town creeps, murderers, outlaws, sleuths, gossip, secrets, deadly love triangles, deceit, vengeance, and so much more. Hopkins’ way of depicting the well-crafted cast’s emotions, along with their complex traits, made them authentic and easy to connect with. Rush into Evil is a magnificent piece of work and I loved it. Fans of mystery murder novels will enjoy this gripping read."

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