By Allen Eskens
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Three fathers collide far beyond the reach or safety of the law in this breathtaking thriller from the beloved author of The Stolen Hours and The Life We Bury: "one of our best crime writers at the top of his game" (William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author).Max Rupert has left his position as a Minneapolis homicide detective to live in solitude. Mourning the tragic death of his wife, he's also racked by guilt—he alone knows what happened to her killer. But then the former local sheriff, Lyle Voight, arrives with a desperate plea: Lyle’s daughter Sandy and his six-year-old grandson Pip have disappeared. Lyle’s certain Sandy's ex-husband Reed is behind it, but the new sheriff is refusing to investigate.
When Max reluctantly looks into their disappearance, he too becomes convinced something has gone very wrong. But the closer Max and Lyle get to finding proof, the more slippery Reed becomes, until he makes a break for the beautiful but formidable Boundary Waters wilderness with vulnerable Pip in tow.
Racing after the most dangerous kind of criminal—a desperate father—and with the ghosts of their own pasts never far behind, Max and Lyle go on the hunt within a treacherous landscape, determined to bring an evil man to justice, and to bring a terrified child home alive.
“Allen Eskens . . . produces some of the best cat-and-mouse games I have read. This is a novel that you will not easily forget.” —BookReporter
“The search for mother and child fuels the brisk plot, but Forsaken Country spins on Eskens’ in-depth character studies. . . . Eskens is at the top of his skills.” —Oline H. Cogdill, The South Florida Sun Sentinel
“The suspense never flags . . . heart-pounding and heartfelt, Forsaken Country should be at the top of your to-be-read list.”— Heather Gudenkauf
Max Rupert laced his fingers behind his head and settled into his pillow to await the ghosts. He knew that Mikhail Vetrov would be lurking on the other side of sleep. It had been three and a half years since he had shoved Mikhail through that hole in the ice, and very few nights had gone by where the memory of that killing didn’t come to visit him.
In dreams, Max still had the short hair and clean-shaven face of a homicide detective, but that face was long gone. Max hadn’t shaved or cut his hair since the day he started his exile, so now his beard reached to his chest and his hair fell in a ponytail between his shoulder blades. Living alone in the woods, Max found that unkempt look fitting.
But there were other changes that didn’t sit so well with Max. His eyes seemed empty, and his cheeks had grown thin. At forty-five years old he felt too young for the tiny lines that now fanned out from his eyes and creased the edges of his mouth. And his features seemed to sag a touch, as though something inside of him, something dark and heavy, weighed him down with years that he had not yet lived.
But those parts of Max that he’d hoped might change as the years went by—his heart, his conscience—clung stubbornly to the past. He had shut himself away from the world to face his reckoning, willing to accept forgiveness or retribution in equal measure, but after three and a half years, he had found neither. His reclamation had become stagnant.
But was he really isolated?
Max’s cabin was a small A-frame that had been in his family for more than a century. To the west lay a lake. To the south and north, Max could walk for miles and see no other human. But to the east, a thin trail snaked through the pines connecting his cabin to the county blacktop that ran south to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, a town of about ten thousand souls. So long as he could simply drive into Grand Rapids to resupply, his exile seemed destined to fail.
That failure had been on his mind on his last trip into town when he ran into Lyle Voight. What had it been, a week? Ten days? Time was unreliable at the cabin: minutes lingered, days lasted for weeks, and months disappeared into a fog. But Lyle had helped him put his finger on the problem: Max had been cheating. He needed to live like a true hermit, with no electricity, no running water, no trips into town. Lyle’s remark had been offhand, but it touched a nerve.
Max had met Lyle five years earlier, when Lyle was sheriff of Itasca County and the first to respond to Max’s 911 call the night his brother Alexander passed away at the cabin, a night Max still tried not to think about. And while they weren’t close, Lyle, a quiet man in his sixties with thick hands and thin gray hair, remained the only person in Grand Rapids that Max recognized by face.
On that recent trip to town, Max had just exited the Super One Foods carrying two paper bags filled with soups, and canned vegetables, and meat, when he saw Lyle in the parking lot, sitting in the cab of his pickup truck, tapping a finger on the steering wheel to the faint sound of music. Max had never been one to talk to himself, at least not out loud, so since moving to the cabin he had rarely said more than a few words a week, usually only a mumbled thank-you in the checkout lane of the Super One—and as his beard and hair grew longer, folks seemed just fine with not talking to him. But because Lyle had parked right beside Max’s SUV, Max felt obliged to at least say hello.
Lyle wore a beat-up ball cap and a frayed blue-jean jacket instead of his sheriff’s uniform. When he saw Max, Lyle turned down his radio and leaned out the truck’s window. “Hey, Max.”
Max opened the back of his Jeep Cherokee and put his bags inside. “Working up the gumption to go in?” Max asked, trying to sound more lighthearted than he felt. The words were like gravel in his mouth.
“Waiting for my daughter and grandson. They’re grabbing candy for the trick-or-treaters. I swear, we’d save a ton if we just bought a bag for the kid and called it a day.”
Max cleared his throat before he spoke again. “Yeah, but where’s the fun in that?”
Even before he had retreated to the cabin, Max disliked chitchat, but now it seemed a painful thing. Still, despite the overwhelming urge to get in his car and go, Max couldn’t bring himself to be rude to the one man in town who could call him by name. So he leaned on Lyle’s rear fender and tried to come up with something to say. In the bed of the truck lay two enormous pumpkins. “You planning on doing some carving later?”
Lyle smiled. “It’s kind of a family tradition. Me and the grandson do the jack-o’-lanterns, then I take him trick-or-treating. I used to wear my sheriff’s uniform. That was costume enough for the kid, but now that I lost the election…” His words trailed off.
Max knew that there had been an election—he’d seen the lawn signs—but he hadn’t heard that Lyle had lost. He shook his head. “Voters can be a fickle bunch.”
“I guess I’ll just be Grandpa this year.” Lyle took off his cap and ran a hand through his thinning hair. “Truth is, I kind of feel… I don’t know. I’m not sure what to do with my time anymore. I walk around all antsy, like there’re just too many minutes in a day.” Then he smiled to himself. “If it were only me, I’d move out to the woods and become a hermit like you, but Meredith would have my head.”
Until that moment, Max had never thought of himself as a hermit, a word that conjured up a crazy man in rags, living in a cave, eating bugs. Sure, he had let his beard and hair grow, but he still bathed, and clipped his toenails, and brushed his teeth. His cabin was sound and well insulated, with electric heat and appliances and a beautiful view of a lake.
That’s when it dawned on him that his exile—his attempt at penance—was the kind of existence that some people paid good money to experience.
Something caught Lyle’s attention and he turned to look at a woman and child walking toward them. The woman, in her midthirties, wore the tired face of a mother nearing the end of a long day. Her gray sweatshirt had a large chocolate stain just left of center, and her black hair fell in looping strands from the remnant of a bun atop her head. She pushed a cart of groceries with one hand and held her son’s hand with the other.
“There’s my crew now,” Lyle said, stepping out of the truck. He walked to the back and opened the tailgate. “You ever met my daughter?”
“Not that I remember.”
“Max, this is Sandy.” Lyle began lifting bags of groceries from the cart, nestling them next to the pumpkins.
The woman smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. She had the lithe body of a runner, with strong cheeks and dark eyes that gave her a look of quiet confidence. Max held out his hand. “Max Rupert,” he said.
Lyle said, “He’s that detective I told you about, the one living north of town?”
Sandy looked like she had no idea what Lyle was talking about, but shook hands with Max anyway, her eyes narrowing slightly as though trying to find a big-city homicide detective behind the flop of hair and beard. “Nice to meet you,” she said. Her hand was soft and warm, and her fingers gave a light squeeze as she wrapped them around Max’s hand.
“And that little bugger there…” Lyle pointed at the boy, maybe five or six years old, who stood behind his mother. “That’s my Pip Squeak.”
The boy tucked his face into his mother’s leg as if to hide. It was official—Max had a face that could scare children. Maybe Lyle’s hermit comment wasn’t that far-fetched after all. Max would have preferred to ignore the boy, but his apprehension bothered Max. He didn’t want the child to have nightmares about the scary man he’d met at the grocery store. Slowly, Max squatted down to be eye to eye. “Your grandpa tells me you have quite the gift for carving pumpkins,” Max improvised.
The boy remained silent.
“What are you going to be for Halloween?” Max asked.
When he didn’t answer, Sandy patted the boy’s head and said, “It’s okay, Pip. You can tell him.”
The boy looked to his grandfather too before answering in a voice so small that Max could barely hear it. “A pirate.”
“A pirate,” Max said, his voice cracking as he tried a whimsical lift to his words. He softly cleared his throat again. “That is a great costume.”
Pip looked at Max as though he still wanted him to go away.
Max tried one more time. “Do you know what a pirate’s favorite letter of the alphabet is?”
The boy gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.
“It’s the letter arrrrrrrrr.” Max sold the joke by scrunching up the side of his face and pinching one eye shut. Pip’s cheek twitched and then a wispy smile fought its way through his bashfulness. Max smiled back, content in his small victory.
Max stood and nodded. “It was nice meeting you both. Lyle.” He held out his hand and gave the old sheriff’s hand a shake.
The first thing he noticed, on his half-hour drive home, was a feeling of warmth in his chest. Lightness. His face wore the remnants of a smile. Max thought back; had he smiled since retreating to the cabin? He didn’t think so. He wasn’t supposed to be happy. He had gone there to be alone, to be forsaken by the world. This seemed all wrong.
The cacophony of pleasantries from that day brought his hypocrisy into sharp focus. The grocery bags in the back of the SUV held wild rice soup and ribeye steaks. Apparently Purgatory came with fresh cuts of meat. No wonder atonement remained beyond his reach. Then he thought about Lyle’s words: If it were just me, I’d become a hermit like you.
But Max wasn’t a hermit—not yet. The solution seemed both obvious and elegant.
First thing the next morning, Max drove to town and had his electricity shut off. When he arrived back at the cabin, he went to work preparing for his deprivation. He buried two coolers in the crawl space beneath the cabin to store what vegetables he had already and those he intended to grow. He dug a hole outside where he would lay his refrigerator to hold frozen meat once winter came. He fixed the old hand pump in the front yard so he could have water. His main source of food would be the fish, so he rowed out every morning and cast a line until he caught enough for the day. By the sixth day, he had grown sick of eating fish.
Max’s father had left him two guns when he died, a twenty-two-caliber rifle and a twenty-gauge shotgun; they were among the few possessions Max had brought to the cabin. He hadn’t used either since he’d hunted with his father as a teenager, back before his father’s drinking had affixed him to the cushions of the living room furniture. Max had never actually shot anything on those outings, but he had watched his father. He believed he remembered enough of how to skin a rabbit or field dress a pheasant to make a go of it now.
On the seventh day of his hermitage, he decided to hunt down some red meat, choosing the twenty-two for that outing.
He stepped into the woods at daybreak, the air infused with the scent of wet tree bark, the world chilly and quiet beyond the crunch of pine needles under his boots. He walked south across land he had played on as a child, taking a path he and Jenni had walked the first time he’d brought her to the cabin. Some of the trees had already dropped their leaves for the fall, but most hadn’t. The brilliant yellow of the poplars and aspens mixed with the rust of the oaks and the bright red of the sumac. The woods looked like a child’s finger painting.
He carried the rifle into the state forest, no hunting license, the gun still registered to his father, and he considered the laws he was about to break. There was a time when rules meant everything to him. But Max was no longer that man—that much he knew. Who he had become remained lost in a fog.
After about an hour, Max leaned against a fallen tree, his gun at his side. He tried to remember what his father had taught him about hunting: Be patient, stay quiet, keep a keen eye out for movement. Max scanned the trees and was about to start walking again when he saw the rabbit, thirty yards out, moving carefully beneath the branches of a small pine.
Max raised the rifle butt to his shoulder and pressed his cheek to the stock, eyeing down the barrel to line up the front and rear sights. The rifle felt foreign in his hands after so many years carrying a pistol, and when he squeezed the trigger, the gun fired with a muffled pop.
The rabbit turned and looked at Max. He had no idea whether the bullet went high, wide, or short, but he sighted on her and fired again. This time the rabbit collapsed, flipping onto her back, and something in Max’s stomach knotted up.
He plodded forward like a man in leg irons, and as he drew near he saw that the rabbit was still alive, blood oozing from a wound in her hip. Max should have put a second bullet into her right then, but he hesitated. The rabbit twitched and looked up toward Max, and he was sure that he saw fear and confusion in her eyes, as if she were asking, “Why?”
He finally pulled the trigger a third time. He squatted on one knee next to the rabbit, and pinched his eyes closed to fight back the tears. He wanted to throw up. What the hell was wrong with him? He had tied up a man and dropped him into a frozen lake, watched as his face disappeared into the darkness of the water, and had felt nothing. But a rabbit’s pain churned his gut and knotted his throat. How could a man be so utterly weak? If Jenni were still alive, she would see him for the pathetic wretch that he was, and be ashamed.
But if Jenni were still alive, he would never have had to execute Mikhail. How different his world would have been.
That night, he cooked the rabbit on a spit over the fire pit out front, the evening chill turning his breath white, and when he ate he could barely bring himself to swallow. But he did because the only thing worse than eating what he had killed would have been to let it go to waste. By the time he had finished his meal he understood that his attempt to live as a hermit had failed. He would go back to the electric company in the morning.
Across the lake, the setting sun blazed against the stratus clouds, as though the world beyond his land were on fire. Jenni would have pointed out the beauty in that glowing sky, in the dance of the trees as they swayed in the light breeze, their leaves drifting down to the lake, but all Max could see was the cold of another long winter gathering its strength.
He wished he hadn’t run into Lyle. He wished that he hadn’t felt the warmth of that woman’s hand or seen the simple courage in that little boy’s smile.
That night, under the glow of a short, fat candle, Max slid an oak log into the stove to prepare for the night. Then he climbed the steps to his bed in the loft. Outside, the thin clouds had parted and a full moon bathed the room in moonlight. He blew out his candle, climbed into bed, and stared at the ceiling to await the onset of dreams and nightmares that had become his nightly observance—unaware that the walls he had worked so hard to build around him were about to be breached.
The man rode his bicycle west along the two-lane blacktop, the glow of the full moon lighting his way. The temperature had dropped to twenty-eight degrees, but the exercise of pedaling kept him warm beneath the black hoodie. He tried to focus on the small details of his trip: the cadence of his breath, the crunch of grit beneath his tires. It kept his mind busy, distracted from the terrible thing that he was about to do.
“Don’t obsess on the big picture,” his partner had said. “It’s just a series of small steps, one thing following another.”
One step at a time—the man liked that suggestion because it calmed his trembling nerves. Step one: Ride the bicycle from the motel room to her house, a route that took him out of Grand Rapids and across a bridge that spanned the Mississippi River. After the bridge, he took to the bike path next to the highway, twice hiding in the woods as cars passed by.
“You’ll have second thoughts,” his partner had said. “Don’t give in to them. Focus on the plan.”
After an hour, he turned onto the narrow road that led into the woods and to her house, the lane twisting its way through birch and pine. He passed three other houses on the way to hers, all of them set back far enough from the road that he could scarcely make out their shadowy silhouettes through the trees.
When he arrived at her driveway, he rolled the bike into the trees and knelt on the ground, his knees weak, his fingers trembling. A wave of misgivings churned his stomach. His little hiding spot smelled of mud and pine. Soft nettles covered the ground beneath him, and the sky above glittered with stars. The tranquil beauty of the night nearly brought him to tears. How had his life come to this?
He tried to think of the greater good—the ends that justified the means—but that kind of thinking only confused him, filling his head with questions he should have asked but hadn’t. One step at a time, he thought. Follow the plan.
The house had been built in the seventies and had a picture window at the front flanked by two single-hung windows with no screens. His partner had promised that the window on the left had warped years ago, preventing the lock from setting. The man pulled a ski mask down to cover his face and slipped on a pair of thin gloves.
He had been assured that there would be no dog, and so far there wasn’t. At the window, he ran a finger along the sash. A tiny voice whispered that this was the point of no return, but in truth, he had stepped beyond that point months ago. He gave the window a little push, but it didn’t move.
Had his partner been wrong? Had someone fixed the bow? Reset the lock? It was too dark to see inside, to know for certain. Maybe this was his way out. How could he be at fault if the window couldn’t be opened? With all the tools in his rucksack, he’d never thought to bring a flashlight. That wasn’t part of the plan. If he could just see the latch, be certain that it had been fixed… No, that wouldn’t fly. He would not be forgiven for his failure. He had to see it through, one way or another.
He thought about using the knife he carried to drive the window upward, but that would leave a mark, which might alter the narrative. He tried again with his fingers, applying so much pressure that spikes of pain shot down through his knuckles and into his palms. He was about to let up when the window gave way and slid an inch, issuing a squeak like the chirp of a bird.
He paused, waiting for movement or a light turning on inside the house. Nothing happened.
Using his wrists as levers, and then his forearms, he pressed the window slowly upward until he was sure he could fit his six-foot-two frame through. He reached inside to see if anything lay in his way and felt a potted plant. He moved it to the side.
He shrugged off his rucksack of supplies, leaned it against the outside wall of the house, and stepped one leg inside. He had to duck his head and twist his torso to fit himself through the opening. Once inside, he paused again to listen. He was in her world now, and it smelled of scented candles. The carpeting beneath his feet was hers, Berber, a light color that, once his eyes adjusted, helped him distinguish between furniture and the path to her bedroom. Somewhere in the darkness a clock ticked.
His heart beat hard against the walls of his chest as he lifted his rucksack through the window and carefully unzipped it, muffling the sound by pinching the slider between his thumb and index finger. He removed the knife from the sack, his palms sweating beneath his gloves. He unsheathed it and turned it so that the blade caught the moonlight.
He had accomplished step one. Now on to step two.
Her door stood partially open, and he watched her for a minute, pretty in her slumber, a far cry from the demon that had been described. But then again, if someone had snuck into his own mother’s bedroom when he was a child, would they have seen malevolence in the soft contours of her face? Her cruelty often came with a smile, so the man knew well how a demon could hide behind a disguise.
A memory of his mother came to him as he stood outside of the woman’s door. It had been the year after his father’s death, so he would have been eleven. A teacher caught him cheating on a math test, copying answers from the girl who sat beside him. He had been sent home with a note for his mother to sign, and when she read the note, she had lost her mind. She’d called him a thief and a thug, as though he had beat the girl up to get her answers. But what stung the most was when she told him that he was a no-good miscreant.
He’d had to look up the word miscreant to understand. He was only eleven and she had already made up her mind about him. How could any woman do that? Children should be protected by their mothers—and when that didn’t happen, then children needed to be protected from their mothers. He shook the memory away. The last thing he needed was another distraction. He raised the knife and quietly slid the door open.
Once inside her bedroom, he closed the door behind him, locking it with a muted click. Moonlight streaming through slatted blinds cut the room into ribbons, and up close she didn’t look anything like his mother. She had dark hair that fell softly across her face, and as he stood over her, a small line formed between her dark eyebrows as though she were having a bad dream. If she only knew.
He stepped beside the bed, held the knife where she would see it, and clapped his hand over her mouth.
The woman opened her eyes and for a couple seconds just stared at him. Was he part of her dream? Then, as he had expected, she screamed into his gloved hand, her eyes fixed on the glint of moon reflecting off his knife.
“Shut up!” The words were both a yell and a whisper. “I won’t hurt you, but you have to be quiet.”
She didn’t obey. She was disoriented—terrified. She tried to pull away, sinking her head into her pillow as if that held some route for escape. She swung her right hand at his face and he jumped on top of her, straddling her chest and arms to stop her from moving. “I’m not going to hurt you, but you need to shut up right now.”
He could feel her chest heaving beneath him, and he squeezed his hand harder against her mouth to stop her from turning her head. He pressed the flat side of the blade to her throat and saw understanding pass behind her eyes. She stopped struggling but remained stiff.
After a few seconds of silence, the man loosened his hand from her mouth, a sign of good faith. She didn’t scream.
“What… what are you… gonna do?”
“Not what you think,” he said in a low, gravelly whisper.
Her breath came and went in shallow spurts. She looked up at him with big, fearful eyes—a damsel in distress, and he was the cause.
The woman spoke with a quaver of fear in her voice. “My boyfriend will be home soon.”
He smiled at her feeble attempt. “No. David won’t be home soon.”
She shuddered when she heard David’s name. He could use that fear to his advantage.
“Yes, I know his name. And I know that he works the night shift at the taconite plant in Hibbing. He’s there now and won’t be back until just before eleven. I’ve done my homework, so don’t insult me by underestimating me. You do exactly what I tell you to do and you’ll be fine. Step out of line just once and you will force me to do something I don’t want to.”
“What do you want?”
“Where’s your computer?”
She looked up at him in confusion then nodded toward a laptop on the floor in the corner. He got off her chest and stood next to the bed, the knife brandished between them. “Get dressed.”
The woman hesitated before getting out of bed, as though her modesty mattered in that moment. Then she slid out from beneath the blankets, wearing a T-shirt that covered to her thighs, and went to her closet for a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. He watched to see that she didn’t grab anything she could use as a weapon. When she finished dressing, he put the laptop on the bed and told her to turn it on. She did as she was told, sitting on the edge of the bed as she typed.
They shared an awkward silence as they waited for the computer to warm up. He was hot under his ski mask and hoodie. His palms sweated beneath the gloves. He was glad that she couldn’t hear how loudly his heart was beating. When the computer came to life, he told her to access her bank account.
“Because I told you to.” He tried to put grit into his words, but they sounded weak to his own ear, so he tried something else: “Because I have a knife and you don’t.” She typed.
Once she pulled up the account, she turned the screen to him. She had over thirty-two grand in the bank, more than he had expected. He clicked back a couple of screens and saw on the bank’s website that its doors would open at eight a.m. He and the woman would have to spend some time alone as they waited. He came prepared for that.
“Call your office. Tell them you’re sick and won’t be in today.”
“What are you going to do? I don’t understand.”
“I’m not going to hurt you as long as you do what I say.”
“How do I know that?”
“If I came here to kill you, I would have done that already. If I came here to rape you…” He watched her eyes as she did the math, and she seemed to calm. Then he recited the lines he had practiced on the long bike ride over. “I am a thief. I’m here to take your money. That’s all. It’s what I do. In a little while, you’re going to drive to your bank and withdraw thirty thousand dollars in cash and bring it to me. I’m not taking all your money—I’ll leave you with enough for groceries and stuff—but I’m taking most of it.”
“I’ll write you a check right now,” she said.
- "The best stories test our view of the moral universe, which is one of the many reasons I love the work of Allen Eskens. Forsaken Country is a shining example of what fine crime fiction offers—a tight plot, intriguing characters, and important ethical questions. In this tale of a kidnapped boy and the men who desperately seek to save him, Eskens offers no easy answers, but delivers a taut Northwoods thriller with a raging pace guaranteed to sweep you along from first page to last. This is one of our best crime writers at the top of his game."—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of THIS TENDER LAND
"Eskens provides an irresistible hook, a clever spin on a classic suspense plot, and a series of expertly escalating confrontations. . . . Guaranteed to keep your heart pounding till the end."—Kirkus Reviews
- “The search for mother and child fuels the brisk plot, but Forsaken Country spins on Eskens’ in-depth character studies. Eskens imbues Forsaken Country with vivid scenery, especially in the Boundary Waters . . . Eskens is at the top of his skills.” —Oline H. Cogdill, The South Florida Sun Sentinel
- “In Forsaken Country, Allen Eskens’ expert storytelling is on full display. Eerie and beautifully told, it had me mesmerized from the very first page. . . . The suspense never flags in this chilling and layered portrait of a man’s desperate search for a missing child and his own redemption. Heart-pounding and heartfelt, Forsaken Country should be at the top of your to-be-read list."—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and The Overnight Guest
- “Forsaken Country is Allen Eskens at his most raw and brutal as he produces some of the best cat-and-mouse games I have read . . . There is redemption to be had, but the price may be too high for his characters to pay. This is a novel that you will not easily forget.”—BookReporter
- “Allen Eskens serves up this excellent suspense novel that will keep you riveted.”—The Globe and Mail
- “In Forsaken Country, Allen Eskens delivers in all the ways that matter. Story, character, suspense—I loved it all. This author deserves a round of applause, and this book a massive audience.”—John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwilling
- “Forsaken Country is a story of darkness, love, and redemption; a novel that will stay with you long after you mourn turning the last page. And it solidifies Allen Eskens as one of the finest literary crime writers working today.”—Alex Finlay, author of The Night Shift
- “Eskens weaves a gut-punching and deeply satisfying story. His characters are indelible. His protagonist becomes a familiar friend with an unflinching honesty about who he is and what his past means. Forsaken Country is not only a propulsive mystery with a lot of soul, but also an addictive chase into the untamed wilderness of the Boundary Waters and the Quetico-Superior country.”—Diane Les Becquets, author of The Last Woman in the Forest
- “Beautifully written and expertly crafted, Forsaken Country has everything we've come to love about an Allen Eskens novel--deeply developed characters, a smart plot, and plenty of suspense to keep the pages turning.”—Charlie Donlea, USA Today bestselling author of Twenty Years Later
- Praise for The Stolen Hours—_
- “A riveting, hold-your-breath, frightening mystery. The Stolen Hours is a thoroughly captivating legal thriller.”—Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Wife
- “In Allen Eskens’ newest thriller The Stolen Hours, there’s not a moment misplaced or a second lost. With the precision of a watchmaker, Eskens assembles the fine parts of a mystery set to the tempo of a thriller, leaving the reader breathless.” —Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries
- "As good as it gets; a heart-pounding and utterly engaging thriller that had me turning the pages at warp speed. I loved this book!"—Karen Dionne, New York Times bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
- On Sale
- Sep 5, 2023
- Page Count
- 368 pages
- Mulholland Books