If you are in the habit of leaving your doors unlocked, you might turn over a new leaf after reading the first couple chapters of The Killing Lessons by Saul Black. Rowena Cooper and her kids Nell and Josh live out in the middle of nowhere in Colorado. Rowena’s baking cookies, Josh is upstairs with headphones on and Nell is outside by the woods feeding wildlife. Rowena walks out of her kitchen to find two men in her hallway and they are not there to burglarize the house-in fact they have no interest in theft unless it’s the theft of life and dignity. When Nell comes inside, Rowena ‘s life is slipping away but she is able to whisper “run” to her daughter. Fortunately, Xander, the alpha killer, is upstairs busy with Josh and his accomplice Paulie is the only one who sees Nell. He takes off after her but is unsuccessful and is too scared to tell Xander that there is someone they missed. The Cooper family is not the only victims of these ruthless killers who roam the West. Detective Valerie Hart and her team have been on the case for a long time and are not really making progress. An FBI agent is brought in to help and she comes with a secret hatred of Valerie. Meanwhile Nell makes it to a hermit’s cabin and he does his best to help but he has back problems that make him have to crawl on the ground. He has no phone or electricity. Did I mention the raging snowstorms going on or that the hermit’s cabin lies across a deep ravine whose bridge fell after Nell crossed? And that Nell herself is suffering from broken bones? The tension just keeps ratcheting up and Nell is not safe staying where she is. Great debut novel – would love to read more from Saul Black.