Cover Image: Bad Day Breaking

Bad Day Breaking

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Member Reviews

This book was so good! I want to see more from this author in the future!! I couldn't put this book down. What a page turner!!!
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I've never read a John Galligan book before, so I didn't have the advantage of having encountered the setting and protagonist of BAD DAY BREAKING prior to this. I can't speak to Galligan's other books, but this book didn't work for me. The point of view choices were strange at times, and they often felt like they were slipping. The writing was choppy. I didn't sympathize with Heidi because of many of her choices. I just couldn't get into this one.
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Bad Day Breaking has an exciting plot that suggests a good read, but the choppy writing style and plethora of characters make it a DNF.
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Loved this gritty novel about a small town sheriff trying to keep her town from devolving into violence, and to keep herself and her family safe from the man who victimized her as a teen. Sheriff Heidi Kick's town has a cult living in a storage facility and a renegade group of 1st amendment activists sure that they are trying to take over the town. When one of the cult members ends up murdered, Kick must solve the murder quickly before the simmering pot boils over. At the same time, a man from Kick's past is released from prison and she makes a series of poor decisions that puts her life and career in increasing jeopardy.

A couple of times I wanted to scream at her in frustration - which is not necessarily a bad thing in a novel like this - realistic protagonists often make incredibly poor decisions. This was a satisfying novel despite some dark and gritty moments. If you are looking for an intense mystery that will keep you reading and interested - this is a good one for you.
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I loved this one . It was fast paced and I was all in on the story. I loved the lead character. I’ll read more by this author. Thanks for letting me review this book to the publisher
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I loved this novel, it was such a great read. It was a slower read for me-but I am also in a bit of a slump. 

This novel followed Bad Axe County Sheriff and the rumored sadistic cult that just moved into the area. Such a great mystery novel!
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I had never read any of the Bad Axe County novels before, but I love reading anything about cults and this novel caught my eye on NetGalley for that reason. It's a well-plotted and timed thriller/mystery with a well-developed cast of characters. While it's part of a series, it also stands alone well; I rarely felt like I wasn't able to follow a character's motivations or understand the setting. A quick read that I'd overall recommend.
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John Galligan's latest book in the Bad Axe County series is yet another gripping and exciting page-turner that makes it really hard to lay it aside to catch a few hours of sleep. Heidi Kick, the very well painted main protagonist of the book, this time has to deal with a religious cult and those who oppose it, severe problems within her own sheriff department as well as an incredibly evil ghost from the past coming back to haunt her. Galligan's writing style, as always, leads the reader right from the very first directly into the cold and dangerous atmosphere of Bad Axe County and creates goosebumps after goosebumps the more the thrilling plot progresses. Welcome on the list of my favorite authors, John Galligan.
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I had not previously read any of John Galligan's books but Bad Day Breaking has made me a fan of Mr. Galligan. 

Galligan's Bad Day Breaking is the fourth book in the Bad Axe County series featuring Sheriff Heidi Kick. In Bad Day Breaking, a strange new religious group has made it's home in Bad Axe County and as they start laying roots in the county, hostilities start to explode. A member of the group is murdered and Kick, who is dealing with political and community issues while also being faced with the return of a vengeful ex-boyfriend, finds herself caught in a storm that threatens to not only tear her apart but also tear apart the county itself. 

First, Heidi Kick is awesome. She is an automatic member of the great rural mystery/thriller main character club that Cork O'Connor, Walt Longmire, and Joe Pickett are part of. Similarly, especially in regards to William Kent Kreuger's O'Connor, Heidi Kick is a fascinating protagonist with deep depths and Galligan explores them expertly. She is a reflection of the community around her, again similar to O'Connor, and it's in the moments when she is reflecting the anxities and tensions of her community and acting to try and protect her people within that space that she truly shines as a character. In terms of just it's main character, I think the Bad Axe County series is going to be a popular one for years to come. 

Second, I think it's important to talk about Bad Axe County itself. I keep coming back to William Kent Kreuger's O'Connor but Bad Axe County is as vividly realized as Aurora, MN in those books. After the book, I felt like I really got to know the community and some of it's members.  The community has taken up residence in my mind and I'm already looking forward to revisiting it by reading Galligan's previous installments. 

Ultimately, this book has earned a fan in me and I look forward to reading the previous installments of the Bad Axe County trilogy and any future installments Galligan releases.
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No! Say it isn't so! I don't want this to be the end of this series. I think Galligan can get more out of these characters.

The books in this series just get better and better. The Kick family, as always, is front and center in this one. We get to see different sides of them that we have yet to see. I was not disappointed.

I couldn't get enough of this one. Between revenge, the cult, and the never-ending action in this book, I couldn't read it fast enough. On the flip side, I wanted to slow down to savor all the words.

Based on the ending, it seems possible this could be the final book. However, my mind has conjured all kinds of ways it could keep going. I'm keeping my fingers that Heidi and her family.come back for more stories!
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book!

I cannot say enough how absolutely chilling and thrilling this book was! The setting and the story were cold, and they benefited from such an incredible advantage as the terrors of human behavior were highlighted. This was absolutely enthralling from the very beginning!
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The novel “Bad Day Breaking” by John Galligan is a complex story centered in a place called Bad Axe County. Wintertime is coming and the dark days are only symbols of the dark happenings in the area.

In many ways it is a typical small community where who you know is as important as what you know or can do.  This manifests itself in numerous ways.  The Sheriff is Heidi Kick and she has the position despite her youthful indiscretions with drugs, sex, and general hell-raising. 

Compounding the situation of the normalcy of general petty crimes being found in small communities, especially in winter, is a religious community, which some are calling a cult. The group recently moved into the county and is different..  This difference  is somewhat off-putting to many locals concerning this group where a number of members have moved from other encampments as well as being joined by some of the local folks. Currently the religious community lives in an abandoned storage facility without heat or other necessities!

Remembering that we have a strong-willed local anti-cult group who wants to cause harm or at least drive the secretive cult out of the community and a group not interested in leaving sets the stage for trouble.  Rumors spread by the locals of secret sadistic rituals in this religious, cultish group of armed people who are supposedly going to take over Bad Axe County do not help calm the situation.

The story-line is not one where the “good guys always win” but more of the “flawed of humanity live here” and who are attempting to do good despite outside forces. So, the adage that good people can do bad things is real in this story…it’s the story of humans.  The fast pace as well as somehow recognizing a bit of any  (maybe our own) small town is what makes this an appealing read.
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This book was a blast! Thanks to the publisher for an ARC. I loved the cult theme, and the setting was also fantastic.
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It is exceedingly clear that Heidi is a better person than I am.  While her moral compass does bend, it doesn’t break.  I’d…hold back a lot less than she does here.

Galligan brings crime into the heart of Dairy Land and it’s clear that so much rot lies under that wholesome exterior.  And I loved, loved, loved the cult aspect!  There were definitely some surprises  here.

The only thing that didn’t quite work for me was a new character.  While an expert in his field, his information on cults seemed more rambling than coherent.  While that fit his character, it also served to confuse me more than once…or maybe I was just exhausted.

In any case, I’m fully on board with this series and can’t wait for the next book!

*ARC via Publisher
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A really great book that I am glad that I read. It started a little slow for me and I wasn't sure where it was going but the author was just setting the stage for the larger story. Sheriff Heidi saves the day again at great cost to herself. I don't want to ruin the plot but a Waco style group gathers in Bad Axe county and Heidi thinks they are there for more than just a place to live. The story moves very quickly with a lot of action once the stage is set and I finished the book in two days. I hope this author keeps this series going because rural Wisconsin has plenty more stories to be told.
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Roman Vanderhoof, aka Brother Milk, aka Hoof. So named because he was once jilted by the local winner of the Miss Dairy Queen contest. Said Dairy Queen eventually became the Bad Axe County Sheriff who put Hoof behind bars for 12 years.
Nelson Abernathy Woods, aka Brother Peep. So named because he was sent up the river on child porn charges from a camera that he’d set up in the changing room of a local swimming pool.
Robert Henderson, aka Brother Skip. Got shot in the leg during a gang thing and now walks with a pronounced limp. In prison for multiple felonies.
Donald Dortmunder, aka Brother Spooner. Stone killer. Finally out of prison after serving 50y for killing a man and then trying to decapitate the body using a spoon. 
Fine foursome who met in prison who were eventually paroled around the same time. By using a app, they hooked up with what turned out to be a cult (make that a ‘religious assembly’) where they were using construction skills they had prior to prison. 
The ‘cult’ is the House of Shalah. Run by the Prophet-Father Euodoo Koresh (aka Jerome Pearl) and Mother Ruth. They have a following of a few dozen families that caravan around the country, setting up shop until they wear out their welcome. To join, families had to cash out their worldly possessions and hand over the money to the House. Any money they earned when encamped in some locale also had to be turn in. Apparently, Prophet-Father knew how to play the investment-launder game and had accumulated a reasonable fund for him when he finally decided to cash out. 
The House is now squatting in a series of abandoned storage lockers in Bad Axe County in rural SW Wisconsin where they are in the process of site preparation of utilities where they will build homes for the faithful. The locals aren’t too happy about their plans and Dennis Stonebreaker organizes a ‘Kill the Cult’ movement. 
In the middle of the town vs. the House forces is Sheriff Heidi Kick, aka Mighty Heidi. Daughter of murdered dairy farmers when she was in high school. Upon turning 18, she and her best bud Missy go on an epic bender that lasted a few years and more than a couple arrests for property damage, theft, and drugs. But that was maybe 20 years ago, and she and Missy are no longer friends. These two ran with Hoof back in the day.
Mighty Heidi (a recent Wisconsin Dairy Queen) gets a text from out of the blue from Missy to go ‘drink ketchup’, their term for getting drunk or high. But Missy is still a party animal has taken back up with Hoof. The text was Hoof’s attempt to find Heidi and deliver some payback for putting him in prison.
Two intertwining stories that eventually lead to the possibility of a David Koresh-Waco outcome; a standoff that Heidi vows will not happen. But the bones of a standoff are present once the Prophet-Father decides to cash out and head for some money-friendly country and no extradition treaty with the US. Andorra is looking good.
Got an advance reviewer copy from Netgalley. The hook from Netgalley was that this book (and author) is for fans of Longmire (Craig Johnson – at the top of my power rotation). ‘Nuff said. I’m in. This is the 4th Bad Axe mystery and you can bet I’ll be looking closely for the other three. Heidi Kick has her own scars to bear, like Walt Longmire. The stories are heavily based in rural areas, like the Longmire Mysteries. Both stories are set in fictitious counties in Wyoming (Longmire) and Wisconsin (Heidi Kick). Sheriff Kick seems to stumble over her own feet throughout, as does Longmire and both have to wrestle with nature. And she manages to come out with a small body count, like Longmire. But neither are wary of pulling the trigger. When Heidi must, she’s a reasonably good shot and the muscles she developed as a farm girl come in handy. The body count in Bad Day Breaking (8 people, 3 horses, 1 mule) isn't from her hand. 
The first half of the book deals mostly with the Heidi/Missy/Hoof mess and the cult is more about the setting. The last half is the development of the explosive confrontation leading towards, in, and under the storage lockers where the cult now squats. 
I thought this was terrific.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I had never heard of the author but the description of the book was compelling.  It turns out that this book is the fourth in a series.  I am a fan.  I plan to go back and read the first three books.
The story felt quite real although it takes place in a part of America and cultures I don't live in.  I am educated in the pros and cons of "cults" and the danger they possibly pose.  I was impressed at the Sheriff's earnest attempt to be fair in trying to understand what was going on while a "religious cult" was making it's home on her turf.
This sheriff has a history that isn't pretty and that history walked right into the book to try and destroy her.  
This is the kind of female heroine I like, no internal moaning and groaning, just an acceptance of her past and getting on with her life as best she can.  She has made a good life for herself with a family she loves and she has a good job: to take care of her community.  And as in all good thriller/mystery books, she has a Herculean journey ahead of her -- fighting the past and the present.

I really liked this book.  If you want a good female lead and, in my opinion, role model for overcoming one's worst decisions, this is a great choice.
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This book is a big NO in my opinion. 2 stars. It was pretty awful - amateur writing, overdone, boring, and just completely unrealistic.
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Bad Day Breaking is being described close to Longmire and honestly I couldn't agree more. 
Sheriff Heidi Kick is one badass female lead and her character totally sucked me into this compelling, intriguing phenomenal story. 
John really knows how to write a intriguing wonderful story. 
The plot to this one was very fast paced, it really kept the story flowing well and kept me engaged from page one. I found nothing that was draggy or slow with the story. There were also some pretty unexpected events that took shape in this one. I loved the action and excitement that came along with this one.
Y'all should really grab this one.... I sure as heck enjoyed it. 

I tried waiting closer to the pub day for me start reading but I couldn't wait. 

Atria Books,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review closer to pub date.
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