Donald Neil Bedeker (aka D.N. Bedeker) grew up in rural Illinois west of Chicago. Trips to the Chicago stockyards as a child were exciting and a bit scary. He later worked at U.S. Steel on the south side for a few years. He has written two novels about Chicago, "The Cassidy Posse"and "Dark Hearts, White City", that are set in the Windy City during the 1890s.
Neil had a wide-range on employment opportunities to learn about life: farm hand, cannery worker, truck driver, construction foreman, glass factory former, steel mill laborer, golf course ranger and RV salesman to name a few. He retired as a high school teacher, the job he felt was the most rewarding.
Neil now spends his winters in Clearwater, Florida, where he is a member of the Dunedin Writers Group. His first book about recent history, "Hot Pursuit in Paradise," is set in Florida during the Great Recession of 2007-2008. The author has received a 5 Star Review from Reader's Choice.
Twelve-year-old Ben Tanner has a problem. Outlaws raided his family stable in Momence, Illinois, and stole four horses. He and his friend Eli have been trying to run Tanner Stables for several years after Ben’s father died in 1864 in the Civil War. They have been barely hanging on since most folks didn’t have too much confidence in a couple of boys although Eli, who is fourteen, did a fine job shoeing their horses.
The outlaws rode east towards the Grand Kankakee Marsh and across the state line into Indiana. The local sheriff says he can’t pursue them because they are in a different state, but Ben and Eli suspect the real problem is that the stolen horses were probably taken to an outlaw hangout called Bogus Island. It got its name from the counterfeiters and horse thieves that had made it into a fortress that no sane lawman would attempt to breach. It is located in the middle of a large lake where lookouts posted on a high ridge could spot a posse coming from any direction. Feeling desperate, Ben and Eli come up with a plan of action. They will go to Bogus Island, and, under the cover of darkness, take the horses back.
Borrowing their friend Libby’s canoe, they bravely set off down the Kankakee River while she yells at them that they are going to be killed. The rumor is the horses were stolen by the infamous cutthroat Mike Shafer who rules the outlaw country.