Monday, June 3, 2013

Harkness by: Michael Bigham

Title: Harkness
Author: Michael Bigham
Publisher: Muskrat Press
Pages: 196
Format: Paperback
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Harkness isn’t your typical Western sheriff. Cowboy boots make his arches ache, he’s phobic of horses, but he does have a horse of sorts - a `39 Chevy pickup he calls Hoopie, and a sidekick - a neurotic wiener dog named Addison.

Harkness is a man of his times, shaped for both good and bad by his experiences in WWII. He deals with issues like bigotry and sexual suppression in a believable manner. We come to know him as a good man, but never a self-righteous one. The pursuit of justice is his job, and he's good at it, but he never loses sight of where his next woman, or his next drink, is coming from. Harkness is the keeper of secrets in his little town and to solve the crime, he must decide which secrets to expose. One secret involves Judge Barnes, the county’s most powerful man. But Harkness had a secret of his own: he’s in love with the Judge’s wife. How much is Harkness willing to risk to catch a murderer?

Set on the Oregon High Desert in 1952, life in the small town of Barnesville has been easy-going for Matthew until a star-crossed teen-age couple disappears and he's forced to deal with some horrific murders, one of which strikes very close to home, before finally confronting the killer man-to-man on the High Desert.

My Thoughts:

This was a great mystery and the start of a series I hope anyway this one takes place in Oregon in 1952 when two kids vanish without a trace Virginia Kelly and Joey McIntyre.  What starts out as a simple investigation for Matt Harkness leads to murder of three people Virginia, Joey, and Matt's lover Kate.  There are so many colorful characters in this book, from the Judge Barnes who's Kate's husband, to Jeff McIntyre the town dentist, in the middle of it all is Matt Harkness trying to find out who killed the girl he loved plus the kids.  Of course there is Addison his newly acquired dog who has taken to Matt even when Matt would rather Addison attach to someone else.   I would put these books up with Wayne Zurl's Prospect Sheriff series.

Definitely a great series for those who love cowboys and the 50's.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and couldn't put it down until the killer was nabbed!

3 shout outs:

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the fabulous review. So glad you enjoyed Michael's debut.

Michael Bigham said...

Thanks for taking the time to review my book. I'm honored. Your readers can check out my blog at

Cheryl said...

BTW, a little birdy told me Michael's working on the next Harkness novel.