cover image Under an Outlaw Moon

Under an Outlaw Moon

Dietrich Kalteis. ECW, $15.95 trade paper (244p) ISBN 978-1-77041-547-8

Based on a true story, this riveting Depression-era crime novel from Canadian author Kalteis (Cradle of the Deep) pits brazen husband and wife outlaws, much like Bonnie and Clyde, against hundreds of FBI agents. One day in 1937, at a roller-skating rink in Topeka, Kans., 26-year-old Bennie Dickson, recently released from a Missouri penitentiary where he was serving time for bank robbery, meets Stella Mae Redenbaugh, a beautiful, sassy 15-year-old. Within a month, they’re secretly engaged, but Bennie’s quick temper scuppers their hopes for a steady life. After assaulting a clerk at the Topeka motor vehicle office while applying for a chauffeur’s license, Bennie flees, initially to Illinois, to escape felony charges. Bouncing from place to place and robbing stores along the way, he persuades Stella Mae to become his wife. During their honeymoon, the newlyweds commit two daring bank heists in South Dakota and go on the run, drawing the wrath of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who brands them public enemies number one and number two, and sparking a colossal eight-month coast-to-coast manhunt. Kalteis breathes life into these fearless, larger-than-life fugitives. This is a delightful treat for historical crime fiction enthusiasts. (Nov.)