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From The Washington Post


“Steve Thayer’s The Wheat Field is an extremely intelligent, well-written but decidedly adult foray into murder … a deeply satisfying and complex tale that examines how human beings react in different ways to the seductive lures of power, money, and lust.”



 From The New York Times


“I am an old man in love with a ghost.”


“… That’s the kind of line that can really grab a reader. Steve Thayer uses it at the beginning of The Wheat Field, a novel as haunting as its opening suggests … The old man in this time-shifting narrative is Pliny Pennington, a retired Wisconsin lawman ruminating on his lifelong obsession with Maggie Butler, ‘a dark-haired devil of a girl’ who ran with every man in town except the one who loved her best. In a voice pitched to the intimacy of a whisper, Pennington takes us back to the summer of 1960, when, as a young sheriff’s deputy in Kickapoo Falls, he discovers Maggie and her husband, stark naked and shot to death, lying in a mysterious crop circle in the middle of a wheat field … Was Maggie actually dabbling in dark arts—or does her avidly erotic nature just seem evil to Pennington, a sexually repressed voyeur caught up in the seduction of memory? … Like all nostalgia-tinged memories, his are no more to be trusted than out own.”