Welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating the release of Bad Axe County by John Galligan! Thank you to Atria Books for the invitation!

About the Book:

Dennis Lehane meets Megan Miranda in this tense, atmospheric thriller about the first female sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, as she searches for a missing girl, battles local drug dealers, and seeks the truth about the death of her parents twenty years ago—all as a winter storm rages in her embattled community.

Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth—if only the investigators would listen.

Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface.

As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard—where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade.

As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core—and finding out what really happened the night her parents died.

Advance Praise for BAD AXE COUNTY

 “Striking prose, engaging characters, and a searing story of crimes rooted in the heartland power a darkly irresistible thriller.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

 “The best thriller published this year or maybe this decade… Bad Axe County by John Galligan portrays a landscape that tense, brooding, suspenseful, dangerous, and a cast of characters that either ooze with corruption or fight it to the best of flawed abilities… Seldom does a novel blend setting, character, and plot together so seamlessly that one is so caught up by all three elements, that is no escaping their grip… One damn fine book.”
New York Journal of Books

 “[An] intense thriller… Galligan smoothly balances multiple story lines as Heidi also draws closer to the truth about her parents’ deaths.”
Publishers Weekly

 “Galligan’s new thriller debuts a powerhouse character in Heidi White, the interim sheriff of Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, a wicked landscape that alternates between gothic, dangerous, and darkly beautiful. Heidi is on the trail of a vanished girl, a twisted killer, and a local legend, all while an ice storm (this is Wisconsin remember) bears down on the community, heightening all tensions and ratcheting up all stakes.”
CrimeReads (The Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer)

“If Joseph Conrad had really wanted to find the heart of darkness, he’d have looked in Bad Axe County. Lurking in the isolated coulees at the edge of the Mississippi River are some of the meanest, foulest, cruelest hearts imaginable, and John Galligan evokes them with all the intensity of a mad poet. But in county sheriff Heidi Kick, a woman chipped and broken on every edge, Galligan offers a righteous force in opposition. Set in a landscape of the salvage yards, two-bit taverns, and blink-and-you’ll miss-’em small towns of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, Bad Axe County is a dark beauty of a novel, nothing less than a mythic conflict between flawed heroes and gargantuan evil. It’s not always an easy battle to watch, but I guarantee you won’t be able to look away.”

—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of Desolation Mountain and Ordinary Grace

“Fast-paced and utterly addictive. I loved Heidi kick, the Dairy-Queen-turned-sheriff. Long may she reign.”

—Lori Rader-Day, Edgar-Award-nominated author of Under a Dark Sky

My Thoughts:

Bad Axe County is an engrossing mystery that captivates from the very start!

Heidi White’s parents were murdered on their farm several years ago, and while it was ruled a murder-suicide, Heidi found a clue to what may have happened, but no one would listen to her.

Heidi is now a mom and married to Harley, a famous baseball player. She’s also the new interim sheriff. While some in the county are big fans of hers, others are quite the opposite.

A devastating ice storm brings tension and causes secrets to come out. Heidi is searching for a missing teenage girl when she finds the body of another one who’s been hidden for number of years.

Heidi begins to realize these clues are carefully placed with her in mind. Signs begin to point to the local baseball team and a special game that happened years ago. Heidi is determined to find the truth no matter the cost.

Bad Axe County has a bleak, dark tone. I loved the atmosphere, and Heidi is a strong, complex main character. There are a few plot lines to follow and piece together. Heidi’s attempts to solve crimes kept me rapt, and the tension never waned.

If you enjoy dark, gritty thrillers, don’t miss Bad Axe County. You’ll be pulled in to Heidi’s story and helping her on the sidelines as she searches for her parents’ killer.

I’ll be waiting on Galligan’s next book. Bad Axe County pulled on all my emotions and kept me on edge, just how I like my mystery/thrillers.

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

JOHN GALLIGAN is the author of the novels Red Sky, Red DragonflyThe Nail KnotThe Clinch KnotThe Wind Knot, and Bad Axe County. He lives and teaches writing in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Where to buy the book:


Barnes & Noble




Google Play






Have you read Bad Axe County, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR