MYSTERY

Bad Moon Rising

Atria. (Bad Axe County, Bk. 3). Jun. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781982166533. pap. $17. M
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“Kick her out.” “Barry her.” Heidi Kick, sheriff of Bad Axe County, WI, sees Barry Rickreiner’s campaign signs for sheriff all over the county, even stuck in her own yard. Her seven-year-old twin sons see them too, and one is acting out. That’s the least of her problems. Heidi suspects she might be pregnant. She doesn’t trust the man appointed interim deputy sheriff. There’s a heat wave with temperatures over 100 degrees, and she’s sending her deputies for welfare checks. A priest is harping about homeless men who disappeared and were killed. Sheriff Kick’s discovery of an Amish-appearing man dying in an outhouse on booby-trapped property escalates all the trouble. Then the former editor of the local newspaper disappears after corresponding with a radical environmentalist. Sheriff Kick and her understaffed team have more problems than any small force should have to handle.
VERDICT The third “Bad Axe County” mystery, following Dead Man Dancing, is a grim, atmospheric story set in a bleak territory. Fans of Tricia Fields’s gritty Josie Gray mysteries or Chris Harding Thornton’s dark Pickard County Atlas may appreciate the bizarre cast of characters and the harsh setting of this book.
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