cover image Bad Moon Rising: A Bad Axe County Novel

Bad Moon Rising: A Bad Axe County Novel

John Galligan. Atria, $17 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-9821-6653-3

In Galligan’s suspenseful third novel set in Wisconsin’s Bad Axe County (after 2020’s Dead Man Dancing), Sheriff Heidi Kick, who’s running for reelection against Barry Rickreiner, receives an anonymous email from “Oppo” offering her opposition research on her rival. The death years before of Rickreiner’s then girlfriend, Kim Maybee, who ingested buttermilk laced with pesticide, was ruled a suicide, but was in fact a homicide, according to Oppo. At the time, Rickreiner was an alcoholic and addict, and his recovery and redemption story is key to his unremittingly negative campaign. Meanwhile, Kick has to investigate the death of a homeless man who was buried alive. That murder may be linked to a string of disappearances of homeless men, which a priest unsuccessfully tried to get law enforcement interested in. Kick’s efforts are aided by the local newspaper editor, a political supporter who’s been threatened by an apparent crank. Readers will root for Kick as the action builds to a satisfyingly hard-edged denouement. Fans of gritty rural crime, such as Ace Atkins’s Quinn Colson series, will be enthralled. Agent: Joanna MacKenzie, Nelson Literary. (June)