Bad Day Breaking is the 4th procedural mystery in Bad Axe County by John Galligan. Released 30th Aug 2022 by Simon & Schuster on their Atria imprint, it's 336 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a very well written procedural novel with a returning cast of characters including local law enforcement, some of their family members, and a few eccentric small-town notables. Set in a rural area of Wisconsin, it's both isolated and remote enough to render it something of a closed circle/locked room setup. A cult has moved into the local environs and town inhabitants are very unhappy, bordering on panic. Local sheriff Heidi has a stressful and unmanageable PR crisis to deal with which is definitely not improved by the discovery of a murdered cult member with a slashed throat. A winter storm has inconveniently made her town even more isolated than normal.
The author is wonderfully adept with dramatic tension and plotting, and the prose sings in places. His writing is sublime, and unexpected in a police procedural thriller. It's a western-ish story and will likely appeal to current fans of Craig Johnson, Jeffery Deaver, and Dennis Lehane.
Four stars. Very very well done.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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