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ISBN 0385488955 / 9780385488952 / 0-385-48895-5
› Find signed collectible books: 'Known Dead'
Donald Harstad was an Iowa deputy sheriff for 26 years, and only retired so that he could pursue his passion for writing. His first book was a well-received police mystery, Eleven Days. The same solid foundation of experience anchors Harstad's second mystery about Iowa deputy sheriff Carl Houseman, a sharp and likable 50-year-old with weight and blood pressure problems and strong opinions on every aspect of policing.
Known Dead begins with the murder of a state narcotics agent killed on Houseman's Nation County turf while staking out a marijuana patch. Blasts of gunfire from a band of mysterious shooters take out the agent and one local smalltime dealer. Then, while various federal and state agencies wrestle for control of the case, two more Nation County cops are shot down at the farm of a local extremist with links to a large militant group. As the resourceful Houseman tries to connect the shootings and keep some of the investigation in his own office, we learn all sorts of information about guns, bullets, trajectories, stakeouts, interagency rivalries, and the eating habits of cops of all kinds--taken no doubt from the author's lively memory and imagination. --Dick Adler [via]