Synopses & Reviews
January, 1951, while the country is in the grip of war in Korea, the threat of nuclear annihilation, and Senator Joe McCarthy, the residents of St. Adele, Michigan are more concerned with staying warm and shoveling snow, until a bizarre ice storm brings down a towering pine. Entangled in its roots is evidence that leads Constable John McIntire to the abandoned farmstead of a young couple who had supposedly left the community years before, part of an exodus of Finnish-Americans gone off to build a workers' Utopia in the Soviet republic of Karelia. McIntire's fears are realized when he discovers two bodies, buried sixteen years in an unused cistern.
In his zeal to uncover the truth, McIntire brings the scrutiny--and the suspicion--of a Red-hunting government agent upon his neighbors and himself. It is only the beginning of his mis-calculations. Each step in investigating the deaths seems only to bring more misery to the living. Old wounds are opened, old terrors rekindled, and old wrongs exposed. McIntire himself is not immune. He struggles to solve the two-decades old murders, while a part of the past he hoped to bury forever threatens to destroy his new life.
Praise for Hunter's Dance
""Hills's quiet masterpiece, including its shocking ending, lingers in the mind's eye long after the book is finished.""
--Publishers Weekly Starred Review
One icy January day on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Constable John McIntire, ever reluctant to police his neighbors in tiny St. Adele, is presented evidence that two of them, Rose and Teddy Falk, had not emigrated to Soviet Karelia in 1934 along with other patriotic Finns recruited by the Communists. Digging up an abandoned cistern on the Falk farm is a chore, but in the end two skeletons emerge. And one is not Teddy Falk. . .
It is 1951, the time of Senator McCarthy's Red Scare. FBI agent Fratelli, hanging around the county hoping to dig dirt on local Communists, informs McIntire that Teddy has returned from Russia and is working in Detroit. County sheriff Pete Koski takes a hand. Is there a connection to the family of Eban Vogel, a German much persecuted during WWI whose daughter Mia was McIntire's first flame? And what is the relevance of the disastrous flood in a nearby mine the night the Falks disappeared? The final puzzle McIntire must crack is that of his (British) wife Leonie's behavior, while the reader wonders just where ex-army McIntire was during the winter of 1948. In Moscow?
About the Author
Kathleen Hills spent the first forty years of her life in rural northern Minnesota before leaving for the real world and a career in speech and language pathology. After determining that ten years in the real world should be all that is demanded of anyone, she turned to writing. Witch Cradle is the second in the series that began with Past Imperfect. Kathleen divides her time between her home in Duluth, Minnesota and North Scotland.
Contact Kathie at email@example.com.