When Good Men Die: A Sam Dawson Mystery

When Good Men Die: A Sam Dawson Mystery

by Steven W. Horn


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Skeletons in the closet are sometimes best left undiscovered and undisturbed. Enter at your own risk the closet of Hans Rudolf Gottlieb, Depression-era carnival wrestler and former Olympian who has come to the north woods to die. As he moves silently between the brutally harsh and haunting memories of his past, Hans attempts to keep the many secrets that define his life in this epic story of enduring love and tragic consequences. The author of the award-winning THE PUMPKIN EATER: A SAM DAWSON MYSTERY, Steven W. Horn, continues his blend of dramatic, intelligent, fast-paced storytelling.
Photographer Sam Dawson, bored with taking pictures of cemeteries and in defiance of his editor, turns his camera toward the elderly residents of a nursing home. "We're going to see some old people," he tells his drooling bloodhound. "It'll be our little secret." But Sam uncovers more secrets than he bargained for and the disturbing truth that the aged are often not who they appear to be. Sam and his "puddle of dog flesh" will be set upon by wolves and humans alike as Sam, the primary suspect in a resident's murder, exposes decades-long secrets to unravel this Gordian knot of a mystery.
WHEN GOOD MEN DIE: A SAM DAWSON MYSTERY races toward a shocking conclusion while challenging the reader to consider the sins of their loved ones' past and to ask questions before it is too late. But be careful, you may not want to hear their answers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983589471
Publisher: Granite Peak Press
Publication date: 10/29/2015
Pages: 438
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.97(d)

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When Good Men Die: A Sam Dawson Mystery 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! If you start this book, be prepared to block out some time, because you won’t want to put it down. I really liked the first book in Horn’s Sam Dawson series (The Pumpkin Eater), but I absolutely loved this one. When Good Men Die finds Sam a few years after the first book left off, still roaming around photographing old cemeteries for coffee table books, with a new drooling bloodhound as his sidekick. Although his pursuit of solitude comes across as slightly misanthropic, Sam’s quirks and gripes make him one of the most believable, relatable characters you can read today. Just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time (Sam’s specialty, it seems), he finds himself the prime suspect in a murder investigation in a small town in Minnesota, and the basic plot of the book is Sam’s unconventional investigation to unravel the mystery. In classic Dawson style, he claims he is just trying to clear his own name, but it seems to me that the lovable, very human Sam Dawson just can’t resist a good puzzle, a damsel in distress, or the pursuit of justice. At the heart of the mystery we meet Horn’s most intriguing character yet, an old man named Hans Gottleib. Hans is remembering his life in chapters as dementia and mortality loom. Hans’s story is an absolutely breathtaking ride through the exciting world of the traveling carnival in Depression-era middle America. This story, interwoven into Sam Dawson’s modern-day investigation, spins the reader like a Tilt-o-Whirl on the midway, complete with flashy forays into carnival life, the birth of professional entertainment wrestling, organized crime and ruthless mobsters, a whole host of colorful and unforgettable characters, and enough twists and turns to leave the reader spinning and breathless. In the final third of the book, the relationships and relatedness of the characters, both in the stories from the past and the goings-on in the present day, unravel and reshape in ways I could never have predicted, and I read a lot of mysteries. Like a photograph on the long-lost medium of film that Sam so laments losing, the final image forms gradually, building and reshaping as it emerges from the developer of Horn’s imagination. Right up until the startling conclusion, when the picture is finally clear and recognizable and utterly mind-blowing, the reader can only read along as fast as possible. What a fun ride!
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
When Good Men Die: A Sam Dawson Mystery by Steven W. Horn When Good Men Die, is a wonderful story reminding us that history is created by living people. When we look at our past as human beings it is easier to look at the distant past Egypt, Greece, the Mayan empire or the past of some great event than the past of those closest to us. How many of us pay attention to the past that is always there every day, our family and our friends each have a story. Their story is not always known by those we hold the most dear. My children remark that my stories are familiar because I share with them my own mistakes and great events but there is so much I keep under my own collar. Steven Horn in the book looks at accepting our own past. The fact that there is a rich tapestry of history within our own culture and we have living examples of that past. How many of us would be willing to share our entire past with the world, our friends or even our family. I have access to my grandmother’s diary, which she kept for five years when she lived in Venezuela. Although I have flipped through the pages, I am daunted by the task of leafing through the pages of her life. In some ways I feel that her life secrets are her own. In some ways I feel like William Gottlieb, that my grandmother’s life was her own and that I should not know all her secrets. This book makes me question if there is something that I do not know in my grandmother’s life and it should be acknowledged. Steven Horn, I will give you credit, I thought I had the story figured out, and you surprised me in the end.