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Breaking Blue (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

For fans of true crime and northwest history, Tim Egan brings his storyteller's flair to two tales: the original mystery and its uncovering. [Raissa]

— From Breaking Blue


In 1935, the Spokane police regularly extorted sex, food, and money from the reluctant hobos (many of them displaced farmers who had fled the midwestern dust bowls), robbed dairies, and engaged in all manner of nefarious crimes, including murder. This history was suppressed until 1989, when former logger, Vietnam vet, and Spokane cop Tony Bamonte discovered a strange 1955 deathbed confession while researching a thesis on local law enforcement history. Bamonte began to probe what had every appearance of widespread police crime and a massive cover-up whose highlight was the unsolved murder of Town Marshall George Conff. The fact that many of those involved, now in their 80s and 90s, were still alive made it imperative that Bamonte unravel this mystery. The result is Breaking Blue, a white-knuckle ride through institutional corruption and cover-up that vividly documents Depression-era Spokane and an extraordinary case that few believed would ever be brought to light.

About the Author

Timothy Egan is the Pacific Northwest correspondent for The New York Times and the author of The Good RainLasso the Wind, and The Winemaker's Daughter. His first book, The Good Rain, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award in 1991. For The Worst Hard Time, a 2006 book about people who lived through the Great Depression's Dust Bowl, he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award in History/Biography. Egan lives in Seattle.

Praise For…

"As a former police reporter I can give Breaking Blue the ultimate complement—I wish I had written it. No one who enjoys mystery can fail to savor this study of a classic case of detection" --Tony Hillerman "An engrossing tale of corruption in the Nor
Product Details
ISBN: 9781570614293
ISBN-10: 1570614296
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Publication Date: August 17th, 2004
Pages: 256
Language: English