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by William Swanson


" [Five] decades ago the Carol Thompson murder, a horrifying crime akin to the Marilyn Sheppard case in Cleveland, rocked the Midwest. In Dial M, the gripping replay of this American tragedy is only a bloody prelude to the remarkable lives that Thompson's children would live.... I have never read a book that dealt so expertly and dramatically with the private lives of those who survive incomprehensible tragedy. I highly recommend it!" 

Ann Rule, author of Green River, Running Red and The Stranger Beside Me

"Engrossing, emotionally compelling.... An unlikely tale of resilience and redemption, told in sensitive, straightforward fashion."

Entertainment Weekly ("A")


​"The assassination-style murder of St. Paul police officer James Sackett in 1970, at a time when racial unrest had put much of America on edge, stunned the city and touched off an investigation that would last for thirty-five years before the killers were convicted in a court of law. Veteran Twin Cities writer William Swanson offers a nuanced, richly textured account of the case that moves like a taut thriller, but with a fascinating cast of real characters that includes cops, criminals, grieving family members, and more than a few conflicted souls. A wonderful read."


Larry Millett, author of Murder Has a Public Face: Crime and Punishment in the Speed Graphic Era 


"In Stolen from the Garden, William Swanson artfully combines the wonderful writing of an authentic prose stylist with the shoe-leather grit of an investigative reporter. With his brilliant telling of the infamous Piper kidnapping, Swanson continues to reign as the maestro of mayhem in the supposedly peaceful Midwest."

Neal Karlen, author of Augie's Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip 

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