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Donald Harstad

Författare till Elva dagar

7+ verk 1,070 medlemmar 27 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta


Verk av Donald Harstad

Elva dagar (1998) 289 exemplar
Known Dead (1999) 220 exemplar
The Big Thaw (2000) 217 exemplar
Code 61 (2002) 202 exemplar
A Long December (2003) 112 exemplar
Satans Siegel (1999) 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

An Apple for the Creature (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 385 exemplar


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Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Harstad, Donald L.
Elkader, Iowa, USA
deputy sheriff



“A hell of a first novel.” — Michael Connelly

Donald Harstad wrote and then released this grisly, fast-moving, and surprisingly humorous (considering the subject matter) police procedural back in the late 90’s, then followed it up with Known Dead, The Big Thaw, and Code 61. In my opinion, it should have reached the stature of Craig Johnson’s Longmire, or at least C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett books, but it seemed to fizzle after that. Whether it was a fickle public, or Harstad simply didn’t receive the big publicity push it deserved, I don’t know, but those first four entries in this series, especially this explosive debut, are as good and fun to read as any rural crime series you’re ever likely to come across.

Eleven days boasts a narrative filled with well-drawn supporting characters, a true rural farmland atmosphere that is palpable to the reader, and a human and likable hero in Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman. The humor seems natural, and is often self-deprecating. This is a series that now has some years on it, but if you've never read it, it will be a great new find for you.

As a twenty-six-year veteran of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department, Harstad perfectly captures the rural atmosphere of Iowa farm country. It is also still relevant — perhaps spookily so. This tense and exciting novel shows how a world gone askew morally reaches all the way into America’s heartland. Today the narrative (which I understand is based in truth) may seem less shocking, but that only makes it more relevant than it was back when it was written. In Eleven Days, a small town in the Bible Belt is suddenly confronted by mass slayings, satanic rituals and hidden amorality, in one of the best debuts in this genre I’ve personally ever read.

Harstad creates a believable crime story, and right off the bat gives readers a genuine feel for his setting. This is a place where a fax is "hi-tech" equipment for the cops. Homes and farms can be — and more often than not are — miles apart. We see everything which occurs through the eyes of Carl Houseman; from his relationship with his boss and co-workers, to a realistic marriage where he and his wife barely see each other, and must make the most of the moments they do have together. Despite the rather grisly subject matter, Eleven Days is also filled with humor and humanity in the face of the unthinkable.

This first entry in the Carl Houseman series is an adrenaline rush of a read, moving like a tornado through the sparse Iowa landscape. It is bloody and exciting, funny and disturbing at the same time. If you’ve been looking for a good rural mystery series, this will certainly get your attention. A terrific series that should have exploded, I highly recommend Eleven Days, and the three books that followed: Known Dead, The Big Thaw, and Code 61.
… (mer)
Matt_Ransom | 10 andra recensioner | Oct 6, 2023 |
An ambush in the deep woods of Nation County, Iowa, leaves a Federal agent dead, and marks the return of Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman in Donald Harstad’s second entry in this excellent series. Maitland goes national when an ambush in a Sensemilla marijuana field by an unknown group using military weapons and tactics points to something much broader in scope.

Harstad brings back DCI Agent Hester Gorse, his boss Lamar, and the sweet and resourceful dispatcher, Sally, giving us that familiar feel all good series have. Deputy Sheriff Houseman’s dislike for the impersonal term "Known Dead" gets a good workout before this one is over.

When Lamar goes down injured in a tense hostage situation, a federal task force led by a-not-so-forthcoming agent named Volont become involved. Due to a lack of cooperation, Houseman and the gang must use old-fashioned police work to discover what is being kept from them by the Feds.

Harstad’s blend of police procedural and rural atmosphere goes down like an ice cold soda on a hot day. Deputy Houseman’s humor during tense situations and his thoughts on two police funerals he will have to attend before this one is over add poignancy and depth to a briskly paced story.

This was the follow-up to the debut novel in this series, Eleven Days, which I highly recommend be read first. Once you do, you'll want to catch this one, The Big Thaw, and Code 61 for certain. While not as widely heralded as it should be, this series will come as a pleasant surprise to those who enjoy the genre.
… (mer)
Matt_Ransom | 4 andra recensioner | Oct 6, 2023 |
It's so cold in Iowa, you may want to wear a pair of warm gloves while reading Harstad's wintery Carl Houseman novel in order to avoid frostbite. You can almost feel the blanket of snow covering the roads and smell the coffee brewing back at the station as Maitland's favorite deputy sheriff returns for a third entry in Donald Harstad's fine series.

A break-in at a rural Iowa farm where no one is home will leave two burglars dead, murdered execution style, and Houseman with a suspect he believes to be innocent. Only when vague Special Agent Volont from Harstad's previous entry, Known Dead, arrives does Houseman discover a deadly foe has returned to Nation County.

DCI Agent Hester Gorse returns for this entry, as does Carl's boss Lamar, capable dispatcher, Sally, FBI Agent George, and reporter Nancy Mitchell, who looks to be a very interesting addition to this very enjoyable series. The rural atmosphere and Houseman's self-deprecating humor during tense situations are the trademark of Harstad's novels.

A moonlight chase on snowmobiles, an autopsy, and robberies at a bank and aboard a gambling ship will all lead right back to the snow-covered farmhouse where Houseman's investigation began, setting up a deadly confrontation for our favorite resident of Maitland.

This is a cold one, but a good one. Wearing a pair of long johns while turning pages is optional, but highly recommended!
… (mer)
Matt_Ransom | 5 andra recensioner | Oct 6, 2023 |
The sheriff's niece is murdered and her four housemates seem oddly unaffected. Where is the blood? Eventually Deputy Carl Houseman and his staff solve the crime, linking it to a man who believes he is a vampire. Will he be caught before he comes back to practice his craft on another housemate?
mojomomma | 1 annan recension | Jun 6, 2022 |



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