The last thing The Dog wanted was to find another body. But there was Annie Adams - the barn lady - floating dead at his feet, her easel and paints set up on the bridge above his head. And so The Dog wades his way through Kussmaul country encountering a confessing nine year old, a dispute over trespassing, a shunned Amish woman, and a quite possibly rabid beaver. And The Dog knows, this is not a fishing trip.
Galligan's rewarding if grim second fly-fishing mystery (after 2003's The Nail Knot) offers an emotionally tortured protagonist, Ned Oglivie (aka Dog), and a clan of misfits and survivors worthy of Faulkner, the Kussmauls, who coexist uneasily with each other and their Amish neighbors in remote Avalanche, Wis. Searching for oblivion on a three-year fishing trip and suffering from a vicious beaver bite, Dog is tramping through the woods one morning when he sees 10-year-old Deuce Kussmaul fire his kid-sized .22 into the body of "barn lady" Annie Adams lying in a stream. (Annie liked to paint pictures of barns.) After Deuce's mother, Eve, who's a banned Amish and a meth-user, treats Dog's beaver bite, he agrees to try to prove her son didn't kill Annie. The author brilliantly draws the Snopes-like Kussmauls while writing with flair and passion about fly-fishing, art and fate. But like J. Robert Janes's St. Cyr and Kohler series, Galligan will need to be hand-sold to reach the right audience. 20-city author tour.