Eleven Days

Donald Harstad

The first Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman knows of the murder case that will take over his life for the next eleven days is when a call comes into his Nation County police department from an unidentified source, believed female, possibly under fifty. No call back number . “Help us,” she says, “they’re killing everybody!” Spread over two remote farms amidst the cornfields of Iowa, Carl eventually finds four bodies – one man with his hand chopped off – but no sign of the female caller. Another body is on his back, legs secured to the bed wtih black cord. He’s been castrated and black wax poured into into eyes. His tongue is missing and there’s a substance around his mouth which looks like dried super glue. Female FBI Special Agent Hester Gorse comments: “You don’t suppose they tried to glue his tongue back on, do you?” Along with Hester, a dyslexic investigator called Theo, a sassy radio dispatcher called Sally, his long suffering schoolteacher wife and numerous Iowa cops who may never have encountered a murder in their lives, Carl somehow manages to collar the perpetrator in just eleven days.

Reviews of Eleven Days

    • ‘A hell of a first novel.’ Michael Connelly‘A major achievement and thriller debut by an ex-cop; a novel that smells and feels right.’ Time Out‘Harstad’s books are terrific and really capture the atmosphere of small-town America, where the twentieth century almost seems to have slipped by unnoticed.’ Independent on Sunday
    • ‘Harstad’s first-hand experience ensures his storytelling always rings true.’ Arena
    • ‘The Big Thaw, set in the dead of winter in a Fargo-like mid-west, is American procedural writing at its best.’ Guardian

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