Dead Man Dancing by John Galligan

Dead Man Dancing

Dead Man Dancing (Bad Axe County Book 2) by John Galligan
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 4.3 MB

Sheriff Heidi Kick is investigating an illicit cage fighting ring with ties to white nationalism when her husband suddenly goes missing.

It’s a time for celebration in Bad Axe County as the town gathers for the annual Syttende Mai—or Norwegian Independence Day—festival. During this rollicking family-oriented event filled with dancing and food, Sheriff Heidi Kick discovers a dark and shocking event—a migrant worker has been savagely beaten but refuses to explain what happened. Then, a sudden murder of a band member shatters the festival. Something is deeply wrong in Bad Axe County.

As she looks for answers, Heidi plunges into a secret underworld where high-stakes cage fights double as combat training for the White Nationalist movement. Then all hell breaks loose for Heidi when her husband disappears and a secret he’s been keeping from Heidi is revealed. A timely portrait of the deep divisions and simmering tensions brewing in our country today.

No more than fifteen minutes into the festival kickoff breakfast, in the garage of the Farmstead Volunteer Fire Department, with three pale pancakes and a sausage patty on his plate, the beloved elderly Bad Axer who everyone called “Mr. Pfaff” had the terrible feeling that his house was on fire.

He handed his plate to Mrs. Einar Kleekamp—“I’m on fire,” he blurted—and left in haste, without further explanation.

Only a few times in his life had Augustus Pfaff intentionally exceeded the speed limit. This was one of them. In his maroon Oldsmobile, on County Highway J, he hit eighty. On the potholed gravel of his own Pinch Hollow Road, he went fast enough to bottom out three or four times, in such a rush that he nearly hit a doe he knew personally a hundred yards from home. He was certain, absolutely certain, that his house was on fire.

It was not. When he reached the end of his steep driveway, Pfaff saw that his cozy old farmhouse along the Little Bad Axe River was just as it always was, a bit of a shambles, a bit sunken in the flood plain, surrounded by great tufts of grass that he hadn’t the heart to mow because his dandelions were blooming.

He parked in his barn and rolled the door shut. He was still out of breath when he entered the house. All was well. His silver tuba was on its stand in the living room. Opposite, on the tabletop in the dining room, just as he had left them, sat the four boxes of freshly printed books that had arrived by UPS yesterday, one hundred copies, one box open for inspecting and admiring. He was an author! He passed through his cluttered bachelor’s kitchen to his den. His boxes of research files, his computer, his backup disks, were just as he had left them. All of this would have been destroyed by the fire that he had imagined. Now he wished that he had taken a few deep breaths and eaten his pancakes.

Yet he had felt so strongly. He had known it.

He had talked to so many people in the course of writing his book that he couldn’t guess exactly who had lit his house on fire. Probably someone who didn’t like his genealogy work. His family trees, his own included, were accurate beyond a doubt, but he had been so wrapped up in the research and writing, in such a mood of triumph to have finished it, and he was such a stein-half-full individual by nature, that it was only as the pancakes hit his plate that a dreadful sensation had stopped his breath and made his skin burn. Now that the book was here, someone wanted to burn it, and his house was on fire.

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