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The Wheat Field Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Wheat Field



Putnam, March 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 0399148418

    In 1960, Kickapoo Falls, Wisconsin is a small bucolic town with a comparatively small sized small sheriff's department to match the low crime rate. Deputy Pennington reveres his boss Sheriff Fatts, the man who hired him, trained him and believed in him ever since he was brought on board just after World War II. The job is Pennington's whole life although the ex military sniper is in love with Maggie Butler who is married to Michael.

    Pennington feels a deep rage when he comes across Michael and Maggie dead and nude in Farmer Gutterson's wheat fields. The sheriff wants to call it a murder-suicide but his deputy knows instinctively it's a double homicide and goes about gathering evidence, which leads him to one of the town's most powerful citizens, a man running for the US Senate seat. Before this case is over or he is dead, Pennington will be betrayed, shot at and imprisoned by the elite infrastructure.

    Steve Thayer, author of one of this reviewer's favorite thrillers (see THE WEATHERMAN), has written another exciting work that stars a flawed and brooding hero who captures the attention of the audience from the very first page. The historical police procedural is cleverly designed to bring out the era yet provide an exciting who-done-it investigation. Readers will hope that there will be more works staring this protagonist because he is atypical law enforcement official.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Wheat Field

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   depressing/sad How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   election campaign What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Steve Thayer Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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