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Donald Harstad Books In Order

Publication Order of Carl Houseman Books

Eleven Days (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Known Dead (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Big Thaw (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Code 61 (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Heartland Experiment / A Long December (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
November Rain (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Three Octobers (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Donald Harstad
Donald Harstad, born in 1945, worked for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department in northeastern Iowa.

After marrying Mary in the year 1964, they moved to Los Angeles, California. He worked for CBS Theatrical Films and Four Star Television in a minor role. The experience he gained while working for both companies was invaluable.

After Erica (their daughter) was born, they were concerned about raising a kid in Los Angeles. So in the year 1970, they went back to Iowa, where Don became employed as a police dispatcher and Mary started her career as a teacher.

He then started working as a Deputy Sheriff in the year 1973, and continued working as a Deputy until resigning in 1996 in order to write full time.

While he worked as a Deputy Sheriff, Don was the Department Intelligence Officer, a patrol officer, and later a Chief Investigator. His experiences as a Deputy Sheriff provided him with a huge base of information, something that he draws on for a lot of the situations and the characters found in his novels.

Don is currently published in about twenty countries around the world, in nine languages.

Donald has always been fascinated by the people that get mixed up in matters that come to the police’s attention. As a novelist, he looks at how certain series of bad choices lead to certain outcomes.

Each one of his novels is set in “Nation County”, which is a fictional rural county located in Iowa, and include many of the same characters. They all primarily center around Carl Houseman, a police officer, who is a loose analog for Harstad himself.

“Eleven Days” was nominated for an Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

Donald’s debut novel, called “Eleven Days”, was released in the year 1998. He writes mystery novels.

“Eleven Days” is the first novel in the “Carl Houseman” series and was released in the year 1998. Life in Maitland, Iowa is usually predictable, even if you are a cop. All of that changes the day that Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman’s dispatcher gets the horrifying 911 call. The same day cops locate the mutilated bodies at an isolated farmhouse. It is the first of eleven days that Carl is never going to forget.

While hotshot investigators come in from New York, Carl and the rest of his fellow cops use their old-fashioned detective work to try piecing together clues. In order to turn suspicions into suspects, Carl has to hunt among some of his closest friends in order to locate a killer that has bewildered and shocked cops that believed they had seen it all. Before it is over, Carl is going to be thrust into an unrelenting spiral of chaos. He will be required to confront the evil he never imagined could actually exist in Maitland. Or anyplace else, for that matter.

This is a fast paced and grisly police procedural that is filled with some well-drawn characters. Fans liked Carl Houseman, quite a bit too, and hope to read more about him in the sequels. He was a great cop to follow around in this interesting town over the course of the novel. This exciting and tense novel shows just how a world gone askew is able to reach right into the heartland of America. Don captures the atmosphere of Iowa farm country magnificently.

“The Known Dead” is the second novel in the “Carl Houseman” series and was released in the year 1999. Out in the American heartland, somebody is killing cops.

The ambush blew up in an Iowa marijuana field. There were high caliber weapons used. The pot was high grade. The reporters said after it was all over that there were two known dead.

Carl Houseman knew both of the dead all right. One was a good cop, while the other was just a small-time doper. Houseman does not know who cut them down in a blaze of automatic rifle fire or why they died. While the Feds descend on Nation County, Houseman and his fellow officers suddenly walk point. They search for answers amidst the evil, violence, and treachery in their own backyard.

“The Big Thaw” is the third novel in the “Carl Houseman” series and was released in the year 2000. There is a killer that places his crosshairs right over the American heartland.

A pair of frozen corpses were discovered under a tarp in the machine shed of some empty farmhouse. Two brothers, both of whom were killed with a Russian automatic that was fired at close range. The police have got a suspect. It is a guy that Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman arrested five years prior and the county’s prime suspect in some recent robberies.

Carl is certain they have the wrong guy in custody. He knows they have something much larger than just a burglary gone wrong. Especially when the FBI begins turning up in Maitland. The brutal double killing is just the start in a case where the killer’s trail continues to disappear like footprints in freshly fallen snow. As well as where a bad break is able to send a good cop into a deep freeze.

“Code 61” is the fourth novel in the “Carl Houseman” series and was released in the year 2002. Code 61: somebody could be listening, so maintain radio silence.

While investigating an apparent suicide of a colleague’s niece, Carl is startled to find that a group that transforms the dark fantasies of vampire legend into a grim reality. They ritualistically drink tiny amounts of each other’s blood. While Carl gets pulled deeper and deeper into this rather unnerving world, it slowly becomes clear that the dead woman might have been a twenty-first-century Dracula’s victim.

Dan Peale, the prime suspect, is a rather sinister presence in the group, a guy some say drinks blood and he never dies. It is a heinous and outlandish theory, but suspicions are heightened when rumors circulate of a card-carrying vampire hunter that pursues Peale, too. Too quickly, Houseman finds that he is scrambling to hunt down a vampire, before he is able to kill somebody else.

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Book Series In Order » Authors » Donald Harstad