Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2019
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.
On a summer day in 2004, high school senior Heidi White, the heroine of this intense thriller from Galligan (The Wind Knot and three other Fly Fishing mysteries), has just given a speech as the newly crowned Wisconsin Dairy Queen when her chaperone draws her aside to tell her that her parents have been shot on their farm. The police believe it to be a murder-suicide, but not Heidi. In 2016, Heidi is the interim sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, where she's searching for Pepper Greengrass, a 16-year-old runaway. Chapters from Pepper's perspective reveal that she has traveled with her pimp to a backwoods stag party, where she underestimates his vicious intent while looking for opportunities to escape. Heidi's investigation eventually leads to a sex trafficking ring, embroiling members of the local baseball team and casting suspicion onto one-time pitching ace Harley Kick, Heidi's husband, who may be involved with another teenage girl's disappearance. Galligan smoothly balances multiple story lines as Heidi also draws closer to the truth about her parents' deaths. Readers will hope this is the start of a series.