Real Rating: 2.5* of five, rounded down for yet more man uses sex trafficking for entertainment crud
Competently written, uninspiringly typical example of a man-designed and -aimed plot centering on a female law-enforcement officer discovering girls are being sexually exploited by a cabal of sociopathic rich men. This is subject matter that is not my personal choice for entertainment reading in 2024. The style is, as noted, competently executed but I recall not one sentence as a sentence.
There are four novels in the series, so I am the outlier in finding this not to my taste.
I wanted to like this book so much, but I just didn’t. It was well written, but the story just wasn’t for me.
They try that and everything else in the small towns of Bad Axe County, where corruption, murder, rape and child trafficking happen amid the coulees and hollows of rural Wisconsin. Heidi Kick has just been appointed as interim sheriff, and the guys on the force want to make sure her job is just temporary. Heidi is a former county Dairy Queen whose parents died in a murder-suicide when she was seventeen. Heidi has never believed this scenario and has always been bothered by how quickly the case was tied up. Now a sheriff and married to a popular baseball coach--Bad Axe is baseball crazy--she fights the desire to dig deeper into her parents' deaths even though there is enough creepy bad stuff going on in Bad Axe to keep her busy 24/7.
Heidi Kick is a good complex, stubborn character who knows her county like the back of her hand. The story is rough, very much in the mode of writers who set their tales in the West. John Galligan shows that the West does. not begin at the Rockies.
Readers who like a story about a tough sheriff dealing with the sort of crimes you may not expect to find in the upper midwest will love this novel, even if they decide they never want to set foot in this small town.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for digital access to "Bad Axe County.."
A really, really good mystery/thriller by an author I had not read before, but quickly added to my "must be read" list. The sheriff of a small town in Wisconsin centers this story that starts with her parents deaths. The local law calls it a murder/suicide, but Heidi doesn't believe the verdict can be that simple. The story skips to current day where she is now the interim sheriff married with children, She is dedicated to her job and her family. As the story unfolds, John Galligan will take Heidi through some twists and turns that will place her at the center of a storm, litterally and figurally. Again, this is a really, really good story. Now I'm off to find book #2 to see where Heidi goes next.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.
A truly enjoyable police procedural with excellent character development.
I read this novel and found it so enjoyable I immediately purchased (and happily quickly consumed) the rest in this series.
If you are looking for a new author or a great mystery with a solid plotline and enjoyable (and likeable, for the most part) characters, or you are in the mood to read a solid police procedural, pick up a copy of this novel, by an author who is at the top of his game.
One of the most refreshingly enjoyable new authors (well new to ME) I have had the pleasure of reading in years!
“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
The story started off with some insight into our sheriff, who was a Dairy Queen. Don't ask me what that is, but I think it is a pageant. Then we move on to our story, told from different POV. Our sheriff has a crime to solve while also trying to be the interim sheriff. It seems Sherriff Heidi can't put her past behind her, though in the end, it all comes together. Hopefully, with the answers she truly wants. Within this story, there is human and sex trafficking, and I truly love how Heidi is not just brushing it off; she is determined to find this girl and save her. While balancing children, marriage, and even her job. However, what she uncovers is more than just that. Small towns hold secrets, and what comes out in the light will have people scurrying. I think the author did a decent job with how the good ole country boys would treat a woman, interim sheriff. We see how they don't like it and what they will and will not do to make sure she doesn't take the place of the sheriff. I felt plenty of action and crime was happening, and it was a good read. I would read book two in this series to see what else Heidi must do within her job.
The first book in the series where Heidi a mother and wife to a local baseball legend no enters law enforcement. She is also able to look into her parent's death from years ago which was ruled a suicide but she has never felt that way. Not everyone is happy with her decision which adds to the story. Overall a good book and fills in a lot of information for me, very much worth the read.
This has been on my radar for a while so I was pleased to see it on NetGalley. This is an engrossing novel, with a strong female lead who is consumed by her parents' unsolved murder when she was a teenager. Part police procedural, part thriller, completely great story! Can't wait to read more in the series.
Thanks to Atria Books for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
Heidi Kick was once the reigning Dairy Queen of Wisconsin - until her parents where shot to death on their farm fifteen years ago. She refuses to accept the murder-suicide theory the police used to promptly close the case; she even has a clue that could lead to the truth.
Now Heidi is the wife of a local baseball legend, mother of three small kids, and the interim sheriff in Bad Axe County. While half the town wants Heidi elected to clean up the dirty dealings in the county, the other half are willing to do anything to be rid of her.
An ice storm is on the way and as law enforcement prepares, long-buried secrets are seeing the light for the first time. As Heidi tracks a missing teenaged girl in serious danger, clues lead her to discover a dark side of Bad Axe she’s never experienced that involve local baseball, a game her husband pitched years ago, and a murder.
I was surprised by how much I loved this book and am thrilled to see that it’s a series! The atmosphere of Bad Axe is gritty and Heidi is a likable and believable investigator that I rooted for as she uncovered layers of corruption in her town. I look forward to reading her next case!
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review. Bad Axe County was originally released July 9, 2019.
This is my second Heidi Kick/Bad Axe County, Wisconsin book, but it’s the first in what, so far, is a four-book series. The fourth book in the series, Bad Day Breaking, has been reviewed by the boys here at MRB. Reading this book out of order means it provides plenty of backstory to the Heidi Kick saga.
As a teenager, Heidi Kick was sort of an anomaly: a high-achieving train wreck. Maybe a well-liked community nuisance. Coming out of high school, she had to good (or mis) fortune to be crowned Wisconsin’s Dairy Queen, a title that has follow her into adulthood. After a number of fits and starts, she went into law enforcement and when there is an opening for an interim county sheriff, Heidi ends up in charge, to the chagrin of a large chunk of Bad Axe County. She still carries around the burden of the murder of her parents maybe 15 years ago; a crime originally recorded as a murder-suicide that Heidi never believed. She’s married to a former high school baseball hero and now coach and has three kids.
It's winter in Wisconsin and an ice storm hits SW Wisconsin. A young girl is missing in the storm. Heidi follows what trail she can find and gets pulled into rural stag parties held in abandoned dairy farms. The clues lead not only to a junkyard (and a corpse hidden for a decade) but also to a legendary baseball game her husband pitched. What she finds has the potential to seriously upset longstanding ‘values’ of the county.
Call this Dairy Noir. The story is dark, intense, and quite disturbing because of its misogyny, rape, abuse, hero worship, family feuds, and so much more. And Heidi is in the middle of it all trying to make sure another young girl doesn’t end up as a corpse.
Galligan populates the county with a mixed corps of ne’er do wells with almost as many who support Heidi and there are who want Heidi long gone. Having lived in the area for a couple years, I think I can attest that the real-life Bad Axe County (Vernon County) isn’t like what Galligan presents. But that doesn’t make the story any less believable.
When necessary, the sheriff of Bad Axe County is one bad ass.
This is book 1 in the series, and actually from 2019, but I had never read it. WOW, what a debut for this new series! This series starts with everything you want from a police procedural- independent feisty female cop, a battle within the ranks as the new guard takes over the department, a mystery that doesn't make sense, and domestic disturbance. I did read this book in spurts and I think that might be the best way, as it can be a bit chaotic in the beginning. But once it settles it down, it keeps rolling, to the time dependent roller coaster of an ending! I'm looking forward to reading the next 2 books in the series, before the 4th comes out later this year! If you're looking for something a little different this Summer, check out this series~
Heidi White is a temporary sheriff in bad ax Wisconsin she is married to the teenage baseball star Harlem kick. Most of the people in her little town doesn’t want her to be shower going as far as the cold hard the Dairy Queen in writing negative things about her on social media. That isn’t her biggest problem though A girl named Pepper is missing, but there’s another girl who went missing years ago and someone keeps leaving clothes for her every time she turns around. That’s nothing compared to her parents murders which hold her head every turn. The snow storm in the area will put an escalation Mark on all of this but is she up for the test it will solving one murder solve them all? This book was so so good! I didn’t know I would love this book as much as I did. She is a bad ass cop with her own insecurities and tortured past but she powers through and gets the job done. If you love great female lead you will love this book I certainly did. I was given this book by Net Gally and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Please forgive any grammar or punctuation errors as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.
I'm about halfway through and stopped reading. The writing is choppy, the characters are awful, half the time you don't even know who's talking or that the scene changed. I don't usually give up on books that easily, but this one hasn't held my attention at all.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advance copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
My apologies for not getting to this book sooner!
I had no idea this book was going to be as good as it was! I really enjoyed our MC Heidi Kick (formerly White) as she is assigned temporary Sheriff in a small town nearby her home town. She has all of the typical trials and tribulations you can image a female officer would endure (x's 100) and meanwhile all the way in the back of her head is still the unsolved mystery of her parent's murder suicide 15 years before.
This was a secret digging mystery that kept my attention right from the start , with red herrings all around.
Highly recommended for any fan of crime mystery, especially those who prefer a bad a** female heroine.
Mehhhhhh not my favorite. It might just not be my genre. I think the writing was complex and complete, I just was not into the plot.
Nope, this one was a flop from me. I didn’t enjoy how the beginning started nor the ending. I also thought the story was a bit flat at times.
This was my first book to read by this author but I cannot wait to read more! The characters stay with you long after you finish the book. Such a great story and fast read. Highly recommend!!!
Typical storyline for the genre. This should have a trigger warning for sex trafficking and gang rape with minors. The story jumps back and forth, past to present, etc. I'm not a fan of this writing style. Overall, I think the story is plausible. There are too many characters. There is profanity. I don't see this as a memorable read.
This was a wonderful novel. The few complaints I have are minor. The story really moved and the writing was crisp. Something I could really get behind.
Thanks to Netgalley for Bad Axe County by John Galligan. This first book in a series is a gritty, grim mystery that was sometimes a bit too noirish for me but I stuck with it to the end and it was a satisfying read. There are definitely some things that would be triggers for some people including multiple rapes and human trafficking. The ending wrapped it all up and good triumphed over evil for the most part. It’s a relief to know that Heidi Kick continues as sheriff.