What initally looks like a small time midwinter break-in, leads to something much bigger - a million dollar siege of a floating casino on the frozen Mississippi River. But the temperature is rising and the heat is on Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman... Following hard on the heels of the bestselling ?Eleven Days' and ?The Known Dead', Donald Harstad really hits his stride with ?The Big Thaw', an irresistible big thriller with a Fargo-like atmosphere.The dead of winter has hit the heartland. It's thirty below zero and all anyone has to look forward to in Nation County, Iowa is an evening's entertainment aboard a floating casino docked a short drive away on the Mississippi River. With his friend and partner Hester Gorse pulling security duty on the Beauregard, it's left to Deputy Sheriff Carl Houseman to keep Nation County criminals in check. In Carl's experience, though, crime takes a holiday when the mercury falls. But the men lying low at a nearby compound have much bigger plans. They're waiting for a break in the weather to pull off a masterful million-dollar siege of the state's biggest economic asset. While desperately trying to maintain his control of the investigation, Carl has to plan for disaster relief, lobby the FBI for a team of SWAT sharpshooters, hold the media at bay, and save Hester's life before the temperature rises for the big thaw?