Bad Axe County: A Novel

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Dennis Lehane meets Megan Miranda in this tense, atmospheric thriller about the first female sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, as she searches for a missing girl, battles local drug dealers, and seeks the truth about the death of her parents twenty years ago—all as a winter storm rages in her embattled community.

Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth—if only the investigators would listen.

Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface.

As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard—where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade.

As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core—and finding out what really happened the night her parents died.
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About the author

John Galligan is the author of the novels Red Sky, Red Dragonfly, The Nail Knot, The Clinch Knot, The Wind Knot, and Bad Axe County. He lives and teaches writing in Madison, Wisconsin.

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3.8
5 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 9, 2019
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781982110727
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

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As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
In the hours before his sayonara party, a handsome young American vanishes from the Japanese village where he has been the first-ever foreign English teacher. The first result is a throng of disappointed women. But when Stuart Norton fails to show up back home in Utah, or anywhere else, his disappearance quickly becomes more ominous. Something bad has happened to the town’s first and only foreign teacher.

The town is Kitayama, a beleaguered old castle town in the northern snow country. Stuart’s disappearance threatens the Kitayama International Business Plan, and loyal town fathers scramble to squelch the mystery and preserve their tenuous grasp on modernization. Thus Stuart’s problems in Kitayama are effectively hidden, leaving it to the next teacher, grizzled Tommy Morrison, to grope his way to the truth.

A refugee from a shattered inter-racial marriage and a fizzled pro hockey career, Tommy MacArthur can feel the young man’s torment. He is also rebellious enough to defy town fathers and explore the fate of his countryman. As his own teenage son becomes a runaway in the United States, Tommy latches on to Stuart’s case and sees it through to its heartbreaking conclusion.

Tommy makes three Japanese friends along the way, and their viewpoints inform the story. Wealthy old Yoichi Ono believes in a ghost named Kappa, and he may have reason. Noriko Yamaguchi, Tommy’s miserably married ''handler,'' shows him the love hotel. And a vast ex-sumo wrestler, Yohei Wada, placidly steers them all toward the heart of things. Together, they assemble the pieces of Stuart’s tortured final days. Then they climb the local mountain, and within the gloom and isolation of an ancient shrine, they find the young man’s body, hanged. But Tommy has made enemies along the way, too. And as the truth about Stuart’s anguish and suicide is at last revealed, Kitayama officials quietly arrange for Tommy’s deportation. The parting is bittersweet. Kitayama has grown and changed, and now a true debate over modernization can begin. And Tommy has grown and changed as well. Understanding now his place in the world as a white man, as a father, and – hoping against hope – as a husband, he boards his airplane for home.
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