Reviews for When Good Men Die

“Steven W. Horn’s third novel is complex, artfully rendered, and superbly crafted. This is good, hard fiction at its very best. When it comes to complex plots and characters, Horn is a master of the American novel. The best we’ve read this year!” — W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear,  New York Times bestselling authors of Morning Star: Sun Born

“Horn, in his third novel, again demonstrates the intelligence and complexity of the first Sam Dawson mystery…Thoughtful and exciting—another fine mystery from Horn.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The level of depth, understanding, and involvement make for a truly exquisite read as readers follow Sam into danger and back again…There’s nothing ‘formula’ about this work: believable and surprisingly fun protagonists and dark moments juxtaposed with a dash of light humor make for an involving story many a reader will find satisfyingly filled with depth and vision: elements too often lacking in many mystery genre stories.”
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review AND on ‘Recommended Reading – Donovan’s Bookshelf’ a monthly feature on website, Donovan’s Literary Services

“Horn deftly weaves past and present in his unusual second mystery featuring photographer Sam Dawson (after 2013’s The Pumpkin Eater). Since Sam’s recent coffee table book of images of dead trees didn’t sell, his publisher wants him to return to his specialty, “pictorials of obscure cemeteries.” That directive takes him to Deep Lake, Minn., where he finds an old-age home, Whispering Pines Care Center, next to a graveyard. His efforts to expand his portfolio by photographing the residents are resisted strenuously by Aimee Pond, a nurse who suspects he’s out to scam her charges. She views Sam a bit more favorably after he’s kind to one of her patients, Hans Gottlieb, who wanders into the artist’s motor home. Aimee soon has a more serious problem to deal with when another patient, Sophie Mickelson, is smothered in her bed. Chapters filling in Hans’s backstory, starting with his experiences as a carnival wrestling champ in the 1930s, allow the reader to figure out Horn’s clever plan to fit all the pieces together. (BookLife)”Publishers Weekly review

“Horn’s first Sam Dawson mystery, the award-winning The Pumpkin Eater, was a great book; however, When Good Men Die made it shadow in comparison. It has been a while since I’ve picked up a book and been hooked by the first few pages, but I found myself staying up way too late to see what would happen next. I fell in love with the man the story focused on, a nearly 100-year-old Hans Gottlieb. Hans winds up in a Minnesota nursing home with no known history of his life and only the reader becomes privy to his full past. Photographer Sam Dawson happens to show up the night a murder is committed in the nursing home and becomes the prime suspect. Trying to clear his name, Sam uncovers Hans’ past and ultimately the identity of the murderer. I went through this book thinking the motive was the mystery to be found, but the last few chapters uncovered a whole lot more. An excellent read and one I’ve already recommended.”

Wyoming State Library review – September 6, 2016 Reviewed by Tasha Reeves, Librarian Assistant II, Fremont County Library – Lander