Dead White: A Dakota Mystery
by M.K. Coker
This isn't your mother's Little House on the Prairie...
Detective Marek Okerlund unknowingly passes by a dying man in a Dakota blizzard—and gets what he changed jobs to avoid: a homicide. Acting Sheriff Karen Mehaffey asks for a part-time detective to teach her the ropes and loses what she changed jobs to keep: peace in her family.
Together, estranged detective and sheriff stand uneasily over the frozen body of Dale Hansen, operations manager at the local meat-packing plant. The intriguing words "White Out" are carved into one bare arm, the raw wrist chained to a barbed-wire fence. What does the message mean? Is it racial—as Dale wasn't popular with his Hispanic workers—or merely a weather report, done in understated Dakota style?
Both Karen and Marek doubt their ability to give the victim justice. Karen is a former police dispatcher without a shred of investigative experience. Marek has enough experience for both of them, but he'd rather dust off his carpenter’s license to save the last takeout restaurant in town from hooligans. Besides, saving his half-Hispanic, motherless daughter from starvation is a higher priority for him than arguing with a hard-headed sheriff.
They'll both be out in the cold, though, if they can't put aside their differences to find a killer.
Neither cozy nor hardboiled, DEAD WHITE is a character-driven police procedural of a rural bent. Occasional profanity. Minimal gore.
DEAD WHITE's characters seemed to walk right out of a familiar Dakota town, bickering with every step. I couldn't stop reading!
—Linda M. Hasselstrom, Author of No Place Like Home
Superb! This book is superbly written, plotted, and paced. The characters are distinct and real, with their backgrounds and secrets slowly emerging as the story moves forward. The author weaves a complicated plot [that] touches on more than a few social and political issues facing small-town America... Each time I thought I had the mystery figured out, some new twist would come along to keep me guessing. The wrap-up was satisfying without being pat or sugar-coated.
—Katherine Amt Hanna, Good Book Alert
- M.K. Coker, March 2011
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