Little Wars: Synopsis
The brutal murder of a family, including three small children, initially thought to be a murder-suicide, becomes the obsessive focus of the local sheriff, Ned Logan, after he detects evidence that is inconsistent with the “obvious” conclusion. The small town of Erin has emerged successfully from the Depression and Dust Bowl with the siting of a factory that produces MRE’s for the U.S. Army. The murder of the family occurs as the Ashland Corporation is deciding whether to keep and expand the factory in Erin. The city fathers are anxious to have the matter wrapped up neatly in order to get past the “unpleasantness.”
Logan is determined to forge ahead with his investigation bucking opposition by the city fathers. As he chips away at the inconsistencies, he discovers that the murders could be related to a profiteering scheme engineered by Ashland and supported by prominent citizens. He is opposed and hindered at every turn, even discouraged by his estranged wife who is a supervisor at the factory.
The novel provides a look at a small town on the verge of enjoying the promise of prosperity and security in Post-War America, and the darker consequences of the personal and political compromises made in return.