Code 61 – published April 16, 2002

Investigating the apparent suicide of a colleague’s niece, Iowa Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman is startled to uncover a group that transforms the dark fantasies of vampire legend into grisly reality: they ritualistically drink small amounts of one another’s blood. As Carl is drawn deeper into this unnerving world, it becomes clear that the dead woman may have been the victim of a twenty-first-century Dracula.

The prime suspect, Dan Peale, is a sinister presence within the group–a man some say drinks blood and never, ever dies. It’s an outlandish, heinous theory, but then suspicions are bolstered by rumors of a card-carrying vampire hunter who is also pursuing Peale. All too soon, Houseman finds himself scrambling to track a vampire–before he kills again.

From Publishers Weekly

Code 61

A call to a Peeping Tom incident starts Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman on his strangest case yet in this nicely low-key but compelling page-turner. True, the Iowa lawman encountered Satanists in his debut, Eleven Days (1998), but the perp described hanging in thin air outside the upper story window looks like Bela Lugosi. Series regulars such as investigator Hester Gorse and Old Knockle do their turns, with officer Sally Wells copping the funniest moments why not bring some garlic on the stake-out, just in case? The suspect is supposed to be a vampire. Harstad has crafted another engrossing entry in one of the best new police procedural series.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Carl Houseman, primary detective for the Nation County Sheriff’s Department, is called out to the apparent suicide of his boss’s niece. After a careful crime scene investigation and a thorough autopsy, it is clear that Edie Younger could not have cut her own throat. This fourth book in the series by Harstad, a former deputy sheriff with 26 years of experience, is packed with suspense, heart-stopping action, and haunting scenes. For all fiction collections.

Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-Univ. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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