Primary Target by John Billheimer


Primary Target by John Billheimer

from 18.00

Ten years after California Governor Red Davison engineered the collapse of Owen Allison’s consulting firm, Owen crosses paths with the Davison family again. A win in the West Virginia primary is all Red’s son Jason needs to capture his party’s presidential nomination. Reporter Tom O’Day believes that votes are for sale. Sheriff Thad Reader enlists Owen’s help to keep his county clean, but Owen is sidetracked when one of the partners in his failed firm commits suicide and old records are stolen. As the Davison campaign is rocked by the disappearance of an aide, a bomb explodes in Owen’s home office. Is the bomber trying to destroy records of the past, or is Owen the primary target?

This Mystery Company edition is the first publication of this sixth novel in the Owen Allison series.

Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-932325-57-7 | 2019 | $18.00
Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-932325-59-1 | 2019 | $28.00


“A wonderful blend of superbly developed—and often eccentric—characters … and suspense, spiced with some of West Virginia’s legendary skullduggery-encrusted politics.” — Forbes Magazine

“Billheimer’s characters are so vividly drawn they threaten to wander off the page and into the real world.” — Booklist



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Praise for Primary Target

"John Billheimer’s latest entry in his ever enjoyable Owen Allison series is a timely tale of electioneering high jinks with a deadly twist.  Set in West Virginia, always in the political crosshairs in any presidential primary season, Primary Target follows Allison as he tries to get to the bottom of the deaths of some former colleagues, then must defend himself once he realizes that he’s a target, too.  Along with a wise rural sheriff, a gang of stalwart but likable moonshiners, and a colorful supporting cast, Allison careens his way down treacherous mountain roads in a story that has more than its share of great, unexpected twists.  This book won’t ease your worries about the flaws in our democratic process, but it is great fun and highly recommended."

—  William Kent Krueger, Edgar Award winning author of the Cork O’Connor mystery series

"John 'By Gawd' Billheimer has done it again—with an encyclopedic knowledge of Appalachian history and characters ripped from today’s headlines, Primary Target is a taut mystery with a timely warning of the state of politics today."

—Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, basis for the Netflix drama Longmire

 “I heartily recommend John Billheimer’s PRIMARY TARGET.  It continues his unique West Virginia series with wit, perception, thoughtful observation and careful plotting.  The wide-ranging story is simultaneously topical and securely rooted in the atypical locale...  I enjoyed it and expect you will too.”

— Michael Z. Lewin, author of the Albert Sansom and Leroy Power Indianapolis mysteries

"All politics is local, and the greatest mysteries are of the human heart—two truths that come together to build an infinitely appealing world around consultant Owen Allison.  Billheimer’s dry humor and rock-solid characters bring a quiet corner of America into the center of everything.  More, please!"

— Laurie R. King, New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mysteries