This image is the cover for the book Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch

This thriller centering around a brutal murder in snowbound Vermont “is his best yet. A gripping story, told with skill and style” (Tony Hillerman).
 Becky should know better than to hitchhike, but there’s no other way to get home. She’s waiting by the highway when a skinny Vermont hick named Paul Conklin offers her a ride. He’s absent-minded and a little bit awkward, but comes off as harmless—until it’s too late. They’re deep in the woods when he rapes her, too far from town for anyone to hear her scream as he wraps his belt around her throat and slowly snuffs out her life. But he has made a mistake. Becky’s father is friends with the attorney general, and the law will come down hard on Paul Conklin. In rural Vermont, law takes the form of men like Lawrence St. Germain, a hulking man accustomed to rough winters and grisly crime. He will sacrifice everything to avenge Becky’s death, battling not just her killer, but the justice system itself.

Joseph Koenig

Joseph Koenig is an author of hard-boiled fiction. A former crime reporter, he won critical acclaim and an Edgar nomination for his first novel, Floater (1986), a grimly violent story of con men, cops, and killers in the Florida Everglades. His next two novels were Little Odessa (1988), a darkly comic tale of life in New York’s Ukrainian underworld, and Smugglers Notch (1989), a story of brutal murder in snowbound Vermont. Koenig’s fourth novel, the groundbreaking Brides of Blood (1993), won strong reviews for its elegant treatment of police procedure in Islamic Iran. For nearly two decades after Brides of Blood, Koenig did not publish. But in 2012 the pulp-style publishing house Hard Case Crime released his newest novel, False Negative, a rollicking mystery about a journalist who, like Koenig once did, writes for true-crime magazines.