Saturday 25 January 2020

#BookReview Bad Axe County by John Galligan @AtriaMysteryBus

Bad Axe County: A Novel by John Galligan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.


Bad Axe Country is one of those books that I hoped would be really dark, thrilling and engrossing. In the end, it managed to be just another book about a woman with a dark and sad past that seeks the truth. And, frankly, I've read better ones. However, I did want to find out the truth about what happened to Heidi's parents and if she would save the young missing girl. Not to mention what happened all those years ago when another girl went missing. And, is Heidi's husband involved...?

I both read and listened to Bad Axe County and both ways worked fine. It's not one of the best books I've read, but it was good for the moment. I read a lot of thrillers so I might be a bit picky nowadays. Also, one of the reasons that I found myself not that engaged with the story was that Heidi just didn't rock my boat. I do love tough female sheriffs, but I never felt that I connected with her. So, would a read the follow-up book Dead Man Dancing? Yes, I would probably do so because the writing wasn't bad and the story did entertain me although my lack of connection to the Heidi and all the rest characters. And, I want to see if the next book would do the trick for me.