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The Wheat Field (Pliny Pennington #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  314 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In 1960, two dead bodies were found in a crop circle. Now, one small-town lawman reveals: What happened out there...
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2003 by Onyx (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 506)
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Aug 01, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
There are hardly ever any murders in Kickapoo Falls, Wisconsin - bucolic vacation retreat in the Wisconsin Dells, and home of the politically powerful Kickapoo Gunn Club. In 1960 however, the naked bodies of a married couple - Michael and Maggie Butler - are found in a wheat field; viciously shot to death. It falls to Deputy P. A. Pennington, the trusted number-two man in the Kickapoo Falls Sheriff's Department, to find the killer.

Pliny had been in love with Maggie Butler ever since childhood, a
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The Wheat Field, as it turns out, is one of those lightweight page turners. I am particularly conscious of this because I’ve just finished reading Cook’s Instruments of Night, a book that has all the bells and whistles of literary fiction.

The Wheat Field is the tale of small-town Wisconsin, 1960. The naked bodies of married couple Mike and Maggie Butler are found in a crop circle and it’s up to Deputy Pennington to discover just what happened. Just what happened turns out to be a sordid tale of
Adam Haan
The people of South Central Wisconsin in 1960 did not believe in lawfulness, or, for that mater, the proper usage of verbs. “How the roads up that way, Sheriff?” shouts Deputy Pliny Pennington, as he exchanges gunfire with his boss and mentor. The Wheat Field by Steve Thayer is an enjoyable book. Although it starts out a little bit slow, the second part of the book is spooky and gripping. Pennington, the main character, comes off as more than a little bit strange. But that’s common, I think, in ...more
I enjoyed listening to this audio book on my commute to and from work. It was a good murder mystery and I enjoyed the setting, but the sexual content was a little too much. Well done to Mr. Thayer in his ability to describe the surrondings and what the main character was truly feeling, but I wish this R-Rated novel had been scaled down a little bit to be more of a PG-13 story.
This was ultimately very disappointing. I read another book by this author many years ago
and liked it but not this one. It was pretty easy to figure out the ending. Also, the book was
too "racy", any old-fashioned word but appropriate for this book.
Karen Brown
Recommended by Debbie; a little convoluted; Canadian geese frolicking thing!
Although murder mysteries are not at the top of my preferred reading, this one I really liked. The quick, clipped narrative style was very effective in conveying the narrator’s character. Within the story of the compelling murder mystery, it delved into the psychological aspects of the characters and, again dealt with one of my favorite themes – secrets. There were lots of twists and turns and back-stories to keep you guessing about who was involved in what. Thayer is extremely skillful in weavi ...more
Charlene Gordon
Good book. Read this in 2003.
mi$$ ҥɪᴆᴆŁеs
Can't believe how far anyone can go for power and money! I have never read anything like this before. It's pretty sexually explicit and seemed like it's got nothing to do with literature. I liked it because I learned a lot about human nature from this book. I didn't like the character Maggie Butler at all! gosh! She's one evil sex maniac! Deputy Sheriff Pliny Pennington was pathetic! If it was me I'd have killed Maggie with my own hands!
Eric Juneau
This is probably the best thing I read in two months. It's got some plot elements that are sensational -- 1950's pornography, threesomes, presidential assassinations, small town conspiracies -- but it's well-written and quite thrilling. It's not quite a mystery, not quite a thriller. But the story is good, and that's good enough for me. I only wish he did fantasy. :)
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Barbara ★
This book was a surprise in that it had a very sexual theme that seemed irrelevant at times and just plain gratuitous. The mystery was interesting and there were a few surprises there as well. A well written story but just not what I was expecting from Thayer. I've read his books before and don't remember them being blatantly sexual.
I really enjoyed this book, although the old man was a crazy ass dude when he was younger. But I would still trust the guy with my life. There is just something really sexy about a sniper. I also was totally surprised by the ending, it caught me completely off guard. I was like "What the crap?". All in all really good book.
I'm really digging Steve Thayer. His writing is excellent, he puts twists in his stories that are unexpected, and he writes these lovely flawed characters that are very real and believeable. He also adds a lot of local flair to his writing. He also does a great job of writing very evocative erotic scenes. Very good book.
I loved it and each of his books that I've read since. He is a Minnesota author and I lived in Northern Iowa for a very long time and went to Minneapolis/ ST Paul all the time so I recognize places he writes about and that makes it even more enjoyable.
Steve Thayer's The Wheatfield is a great book so far. I have not finished it yet. I've been reading it for a while now. I haven't had the time to read it everyday and that often, but where I left off is very thrilling and cannot wait to read the rest !!
Lisa H.
I still can't figure out what this book was trying to be - murder mystery, psychological study, political thriller, "erotic" thriller... Whatever Thayer was trying to do with it, I don't think it succeeded at any of it. A very odd book.
A dark and disturbing book this one is. It isn't a comfortable read. I didn't like it as much as "The Leper" although he did mention leoprosy in the story. That makes me wonder if he does that in all his stories.
So, I skipped alot of this book, as there were chapters in it that had nothing to do with the story.

Ultimately, I didn't really care for the book, but it was OK.
Lynette Barfield
I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I did. Sex club murders coincide with political assassination and mysterious characters as the plot evolves.

Straight forward like a good Minnesotan or Wisconsinite... Beware of the sexual content, which adds to the grittiness of the book.
Annie Michelle
great book and a local author. first book I ever read of his was St. Mudd...soooo loved it! bought copies for my friends
This one was a little scary for me, but I thought it was interesting how the story played out.
Loved it. Has little bit of everything. Mystery, suspense, twists and turns, sex, conspiracies.
A sexual mystery and explicit to say the most from Minnesota to Nantucket. A fast read.
Only read it because it was set in Wisconsin.
Jennifer Fetterly
BC selection. Slightly pornographic.
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STEVE THAYER is the New York Times best-selling author of Saint Mudd, Silent Snow, and The Wheat Field. He lives in Edina, Minnesota.
More about Steve Thayer...

Other Books in the Series

Pliny Pennington (2 books)
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The Weatherman Silent Snow The Leper Saint Mudd: A Novel of Gangsters and Saints Wolf Pass

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