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Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere: A Memoir

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    An Intimate, Cogent, and Poignant Memoir Ballantine melds humor

    An Intimate, Cogent, and Poignant Memoir
    Ballantine melds humor and pathos in this insightful and candid memoir about how Chadron saved his life and why he later decided to settle there with his beautiful wife who left a thriving dental practice in Mexico to realize the North American dream. He writes warmly of his commitment to a sometimes rocky marriage, and a son who had been flagged by educators as possibly autistic, a diagnosis which Ballantine questions and largely dismisses.
    The reader can understand why one might choose to settle in this friendly, peaceful, remote prairie town where locking one's doors was probably not a high priority and the most frequent report to the police might be concern about a neighbor's pet.
    One frigid December night that all changed with the mysterious disappearance of a Chadron State College math professor and the subsequent discovery of his bound and burned body near the campus some months later.
    Ballantine, who does not consider himself a writer of "true crime," found this story compelling enough to serve as a backdrop for this memoir and a vehicle for self-examination and reflection. Dr. Haataja was not a stranger. He was a neighbor who could be seen around town on a daily basis, a town that cares when someone disappears, a town that was not accustomed to violent death scenes. This event impacted the entire community, including Ballantine's wife, who had unwittingly befriended a possible suspect, and his young son who became Ballantine's constant companion in frequent sleuthing adventures.
    Ballantine's memoir is replete with thoughtful, well-turned phrases that edify, satisfy, and entertain. I highly recommend this book. It's a gem.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It felt good to spend some time w

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It felt good to spend some time with Mr. Ballantine and his family. The mystery in the book is compelling and perplexing; very well researched and presented. The memoir side of the tale is much like getting to know someone in person... a little at a time. Well worth reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2014

    Awesomesauce.

    Love this book! And love this writer! Love & Terror was my introduction to Ballantine, and now I plan on picking up everything he's written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Harro's Den

    This space is taken.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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