Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bad Moon Rising by John Galligan
Narrator: Samantha Desz
Series: Bad Axe County #3
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 29, 2021
Length: 7 hours, 41 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Sheriff Heidi Kick has a dead body on her hands, a homeless young man last seen alive miles from the Bad Axe. Chillingly, the medical examiner confirms what Sheriff Kick has been experiencing in her own reoccurring nightmares of late: the victim was buried alive. As the relentless summer heat bears down and more bodies are discovered, Sheriff Kick also finds herself embroiled in a nasty reelection campaign. These days her detractors call her “Sheriff Mommy”—KICK HER OUT holler the opposition’s campaign signs—and as her family troubles become public, vicious rumors threaten to sway the electorate and derail her investigation.
Enter Vietnam veteran Leroy Fanta, editor-in-chief of the local paper who believes Heidi’s strange case might be tied to a reclusive man writing deranged letters to the opinions section for years. With his heart and liver on their last legs, Fanta drums up his old journalistic instincts in one last effort to help Heidi find a lead in her case, or at least a good story...
With simmering tension that sweats off the page, Bad Moon Rising infuses newsworthy relevance with a page-turning story of crime in America’s heartland, capturing global issues with startling immediacy while entertaining from start to finish.
Bad Axe County series is one I am enjoying. The first one was exciting with multiple perpetrators and different cases. Misogyny is alive and well; young girls do not do well in this county. The good old boys have not been happy with Heidi as an interim sheriff and are fighting her re-election.
I somehow missed the second book in the series, Dead Man Dancing. I was so glad to find I could get it at the library and listen to it just before Bad Moon Rising. I really enjoyed it and since I was going right from it to the next one, I expected it to be easy. But it wasn’t. Bad Moon Rising was a rough start for me. In addition to Sheriff Heidi, there were some other points of view, from people we don’t know well and that was harder to settle into the story. After about a third of the book, it all came together and was a complex and thrilling read.
The cases are difficult and finding evidence goes too slowly. Heidi and her team do the right things, but some people aren’t helpful or hide evidence so it goes slowly. Her opponent, some neighbors and even her MIL say mean things about her. Of course there is more than one case to juggle too.
There are multiple layers on the personal side as well. Heidi is not communicating well with her husband again (I hope this doesn’t continue as a norm). Her elementary age children are having various issues. One thinks she should be a he, one is upset about all the neighbors and school kids saying bad (and untrue) things about his mother, and the other feels the pressure to be really good so as not to be a problem for his already stressed family. Heidi is having a health issue.
There are complex, emotional and financial issues and Heidi handles it all. She manages to solve her cases but at great personal costs. Those covering up their crimes, or taking revenge are not bothered by killing others to achieve their goals. I wonder what Heidi and her family will decide for their future.
I’ve been listening to this narrator throughout the series and I’m very comfortable with her as Heidi, who is the primary character. Most of the story is her stream of consciousness. She handles the other male and female voices well with variation. I was able to listen at my normal 1.5x speed.
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