The beginning of an intriguing Peder Norgaard series with a vivid setting.

By Newell Searle ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 26, 2023

Newell Searle

Boston Meade is eager to go back to Chicago and take up the role of editor-in-chief of the renowned newspaper American Outlook. He has been temporarily managing the Alton County Statesman since his father, the paper’s owner and editor, passed away. While researching a bootlegging story, intern Peder Norgaard finds the remains of the long-lost Minneapolis detective Max Kaplan. Soon after, Peder’s body is discovered at the bottom of a ravine and his notes are nowhere to be found. On the same day, World War II veteran Eliot Ferrall is found dead in his truck, which appears to be a suicide, but there are no fingerprints on the gun and no blood in the cab. Sheriff Jack Meade, who is biracial and was adopted by Boston’s white family when he was 8 years old, is unable to find any solid evidence to prove the deaths were murders.


Boston hires a new editor for the paper, Ginger O’Meara, whom he dated in high school, and decides to stay in town until Peder’s death is solved. At the same time, Jack is in the middle of a heated reelection campaign against Dwayne Jager, who is using the slogan “He’s one of us!” Searle’s novel is a gripping mystery that touches on a variety of topics, such as racism, immigration, family issues, job stress, and even romance. The author, who was raised on a farm in Minnesota, does a great job of depicting the state’s scenery and the joys of living in a rural area in the 1980s. The characters are realistic and flawed, and the potential suspects will keep readers guessing.

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Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2023
ISBN: 9781959770442

Page Count: 268
Publisher: Calumet Editions

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023