Instructor’s new book a dark thriller

Tessa Morhardt, Editor in Chief

Imagine getting up at 4 a.m. to write for a couple of hours. To then, get your children ready for school and get ready yourself to go teach. 

It’s how John Galligan, a Madison College English instructor, manages to write, teach, and balance family life.

In fact, he has written six novels that way, including his latest book, “Bad Axe County.”

Most of Galligan’s books are based on his experiences and interests, which include travel and fly fishing.

An avid traveler, Galligan met his wife while visiting Japan. He wrote his first book, “Red Sky Red Dragonfly,” about the experience.

Looking back, he jokes that people would “lose interest within the first 30 seconds” because of how “complex” his description was of Japan.

His latest writing has fallen into the mystery genre. The Isthmus describes his latest novel as “a grim and gritty thriller set on the edge of the Mississippi River.”

Publisher’s Weekly called it a “dark beauty of a novel, nothing less than a mythic conflict between flawed heroes and gargantuan evil.”

“Bad Axe County” is a murder mystery set in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, one of Galligan’s favorite areas of the state.

Galligan’s sequel to “Bad Axe County” will be available next summer, and he has already started writing the third book of the series.

Though he has been working on this dark murder mystery series, Galligan plans to get back to writing about fishing – the topic of his “Nail Knot” series. He has always had a passion for fishing and wants to share it with others, too.

“Bad Axe County” is available on The paperback is $16 and the Kindle version is $13.99.