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  • Published: 22 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9781640095083
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $42.99

The Houseboat

A Novel



James Sallis meets Mindhunter in this stylish and atmospheric noir set in small town Iowa in the 1960s, a midcentury heartland gothic with abounding twists and a feverish conclusion.

Local outcast Rigby Sellers lives in squalor on a dilapidated houseboat moored on the Mississippi River. With only stolen mannequins and the river to keep him company, Rigby begins to spiral from the bizarre to the threatening. As a year of drought gives way to a season of squalls, a girl is found trembling on the side of the road, claiming her boyfriend was murdered. The townspeople of nearby Oscar turn their suspicions toward Sellers.

Town sheriff Amos Fielding knows this crime is more than he can handle alone. He calls on the regional marshal up in Minnesota, and detective Edward Ness arrives in Oscar to help him investigate the homicide and defuse the growing unrest. Ness, suffering his own demons, is determined to put his past behind him and solve the case. But soon more bodies are found. As Ness and Fielding uncover disturbing facts about Sellers, and a great storm floods the Mississippi, threatening the town, Oscar is pushed to a breaking point even Ness may not be able to prevent.

  • Published: 22 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9781640095083
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $42.99

Praise for The Houseboat

"Dane Bahr has written a classic mystery that propels his readers through the avenues, back roads, and waterways of a small town on a dire mission to sort through gossip and find the truth. Yet along the way, he also creeps us out, pushes our buttons, challenges our moral limits, and subverts our expectations in all the best ways, right up to the very last page. A subtle and smartly paced psychological page-turner with characters you love for their flaws." —Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star "With scenes as propulsive as any found in True Detective and dialogue that could hold its own against the novels of Cormac McCarthy or Donald Ray Pollock, Dane Bahr's debut, The Houseboat, is truly a thing of beauty! Enticing the reader from the go, with a clear, clever, and ultimately haunting writing style, Bahr delivers on every page.” —Urban Waite, author of Sometimes the Wolf “Dane Bahr has an unteachable knack to make the natural world a character. And once the book's ecosystems spring to vibrant life, there is a hell of a page-turner floating on top." —Joshua Mohr, author of Model Citizen "The Houseboat is an unruly, scarred and dusk-haunted book. In Bahr's stunning, transcendent descent into the old guilt of our collective humanity, something utterly unique awakens." —Shann Ray, author of Atomic Theory 7The Houseboat is as taut and chilling as it is vivid and self-assured. Bahr delivers a gritty, page-turning debut not to be missed." —Jonathan Evison, author of Legends of the North CascadesThe Houseboat is a little bit Eudora Welty, a splash of Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of originality. Dane Bahr levels a landscapist’s eye on 1960 Iowa and a gothic one on the human currents circulating in its cornfields, woods, and waterways. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition of the bucolic and the horrifying.” —Glen Chamberlin, author of Conjugations of the Verb to Be

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