Reflecting 26 years as a deputy sheriff in northeastern Iowa, Donald Harstad's first book, a topnotch thriller about an Iowa deputy sheriff named Carl Houseman, is full of convincing details of everyday police work and is told in such a droll, natural voice that you'll swear you've met both author and hero. "When I got home, Sue was a little angry," Houseman says about his wife. "I'd neglected to leave her a note about the meeting. Consequently, supper had turned out to be a problem. She'd taken care of it by making a taco-type soup, so it was still warm when I got there. She'd eaten." In other hands, the story (a series of ritual murders, a Satanic cult, the possible involvement of a local clergyman) might seem over the top. But Harstad's dead-on, no-nonsense manner makes it all very convincing--and extremely readable. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The first half of Harstad's good-natured debut may read like Fargo meets Dragnet, but this police procedural turns downright explosive once deputy sheriff Carl Houseman gets to the heart of the strange murders that are tearing apart his small Iowa farming town. The action begins when a 911 call leads Houseman to the site of a ritual murder with multiple victims and no witnesses left in sight; further evidence reveals that an infant may have been sacrificed and that other victims will follow. The first round of police work leads Houseman and his colleagues to the members of a devilish cult, but the serial killer remains at large until Houseman comes to suspect the town pastor and his wife. What follows is an intriguing, suspenseful showdown at a local church. Harstad's deceptively sparse style is full of hard-boiled drollery, even when mundane details threaten to crowd the plot. If the labyrinthine network of Satanic cult members gets a bit too involved, the descriptions of the police work rival Wambaugh's best, and the action scenes maintain a precision that keeps the tension high. After 26 years' police work in northeastern Iowa, Harstad seems poised for a successful second career.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is one of the best crime novels I have ever read. The writing is brisk, funny, and really shows the author's knowledge of police work in the area. Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. Medina
This was a pretty good book. I didn't enjoy it as much as 'Known Dead' but I still enjoyed it. The subject matter was a bit disturbing at times and the plot itself was really... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Chris from the Midwest
I enjoyed reading Harstad's work. I wish he'd had a few more stories in him. Now if only the publisher would wake up and put Long December out in an ebook. Idiots.Published 18 months ago by S. Gibbs
The writer, does well, paints the personality of each character in detail, in the story. Having myself, law enforcement experience, I can relate to the differences and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ralph Lucy
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. Ordered the next three and they are equally good. Hope he keeps writing. I love these books.Published 19 months ago by Mariah
Awesome book! Couldn't put it down...the entire book kept me guessing. Not the typical murder mystery with a predictable ending.Published 22 months ago by Jen