Dead Man Dancing by John Galligan (book cover)

Dead Man Dancing

by John Galligan

Coming soon – August 11, 2020

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBond | Simon & Schuster | Mystery to Me

Galligan’s dark, painfully relevant Bad Axe County was one of my favorite thrillers of last year, and Dead Man Dancing sounds like a powerful follow-up.
2020 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers


In this sequel to the “gritty, brash, and totally gripping” (The Real Book Spy) thriller Bad Axe County, Sheriff Heidi Kick is investigating an illicit cage fighting ring with ties to white nationalism when her husband suddenly goes missing.

It’s a time for celebration in Bad Axe County as the town gathers for the annual Syttende Mai—or Norwegian Independence Day—festival. During this rollicking family-oriented event filled with dancing and food, Sheriff Heidi Kick discovers a dark and shocking event—a migrant worker has been savagely beaten but refuses to explain what happened. Then, a sudden murder of a band member shatters the festival. Something is deeply wrong in Bad Axe County.

As she looks for answers, Heidi plunges into a secret underworld where high-stakes cage fights double as combat training for the White Nationalist movement. Then all hell breaks loose for Heidi when her husband disappears and her enemies try to force a desperate bargain.

A timely portrait of the deep divisions and simmering tensions brewing in our country today, Dead Man Dancing takes you into the dark heart of a movement defined by violence and hate. Featuring John Galligan’s signature “striking prose, engaging characters” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), and unforgettable twists and turns, Dead Man Dancing is a breathless thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Given current tensions and deep divisions in the United States, Dead Man Dancing takes on an electrifying relevance made all the more effective thanks to Galligan’s vivid descriptions and emotional portrayal of his characters.

BookPage “American Nightmares”
feature by G. Robert Frazier 

Galligan juggles the multiple plotlines without ever straining credibility. Ace Atkins fans should be drawn to this gripping account of an honest law enforcement officer battling racists

Publishers Weekly
(read entire starred review)

Heidi Kick was interim sheriff of this seedy Wisconsin territory. Now she’s full-time, sounding like somebody with a job. She fights with the payroll department over time off, and she’s undermined by big-bellied old boys who call her Sheriff Snowflake. Her husband complains she’s gone too much. Her brother-in-law barrels around in a truck adorned with a great, big Confederate flag. And she’s trying to stop smoking. Not Raymond Chandler’s mean streets exactly—until she’s suddenly dealing with the murder and mutilation of an amiable local, followed by the uncovering of a cage fight club used as training ground for a right-wing group with a horrifying action plan. Their motto: “It’s time for strong white men to act.” Some fine action scenes result, sparked by one outlandish villain: “I melted the snowflake,” he brags after throwing acid at a woman. “Hydrochloric justice.” Heidi doesn’t want any more of this scoundrel, but his presence certainly shifts the novel into overdrive, the way only a truly despicable villain can do.

Don Crinklaw, Booklist 


BookPage: “Galligan’s dark, painfully relevant Bad Axe County was one of my favorite thrillers of last year, and Dead Man Dancing sounds like a powerful follow-up.” 2020 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers – January 2020