by Dennis Dalman
Sheriff Deidre Johnson is up to her neck in danger and intrigue again, this time in Seven Graves, Two Harbors, Sartell author Dennis Herschbach’s second murder-mystery novel.
After the graves of seven bodies are discovered near remote Whyte Road near Two Harbors on the North Shore, Johnson quickly finds herself involved in the investigation of a disappearance and then of a fatal drug overdose of a young woman.
An old man, a “town drunk” bar-hopper known as Skinny, disappears one day. His abandoned truck has been found in a ditch near Whyte Road. In the meantime, high-school student Jill Moore is found dead, the victim of a methamphetamine overdose – an overdose so massive Anderson suspects it might have been a murder.
Along the way through the page-turning novel, Herschbach introduces dozens of characters, many of them hard-working dedicated law enforcers and others a motley crew of colorful misfits and sinister varmints.
It becomes clear eventually that the Two Harbors area has been the venue for a ring of drug-runners. Anderson begins receiving death threats on notes left on her car window. Her significant other, John, begins to worry about her safety as the investigation grows ever deeper and more widespread.
Sheriff Johnson is not new to dangers, antagonisms, frustrated love and tangled plot developments. She was, after all, the protagonist of Herschbach’s first mystery novel, last year’s Convergence at Two Harbors. In that book, Anderson and others discover Two Harbors is the site for a planned terrorist attack. After many pages of thickening plot developments, Johnson and others in that book are involved in a hair-raising and murderous pursuit among the cliffs of the North Shore. Johnson is shot, and by the end of the book nobody is sure if she will ever recover fully.
But she does, of course, and she bounces back to show true grit, fearless courage and determination once again in Seven Graves, Two Harbors. There are many plots twists and shocking developments along the way, including a stunner involving Johnson’s significant other.
Seven Graves, Two Harbors was published this past summer by North Star Press of St. Cloud.
Herschbach was for many years a teacher at Two Harbors High School before retiring. After meeting his wife-to-be, Vicky Schaefer, he moved to her home town of Sartell.
“This book is dedicated to my wife, Vicky Schaefer, who supports all of my writing endeavors and encourages me when I begin to doubt myself.”
Seven Graves, Two Harbors can be purchased via amazon.com.