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There is a switchblade-wielding killer on the loose in a seedy (and fictional) side of Sioux City.

Luckily, hard-nosed Sioux City Sentinel-Leader newspaper reporter Tom Kingman and his fiery love interest, assistant Woodbury County Attorney Hillary Reed, are hot on the trail of the religiously motivated murderer.

This is the premise of "Avenging Angel" (Mill City Press), the third mystery novel penned by former Sioux City Journal reporter Bill Zahren.

Zahren introduced the tempestuous duo of Kingman and Reed in 2015's "Officer Involved," and continued their quirky romantic capers in 2016's "Paper Trail."

"Avenging Angel" puts the pair in an intimate relationship. It's downright criminal that they tend to have a penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That fact makes it especially interesting for readers, since Zahren likes utilizing real-life Siouxland landmarks in his twisty page-turner.

"It's fun to see how people enjoy having real places in Siouxland used as backdrops for my books," said Zahren, who now lives in West Des Moines, Iowa. "I like to move Tom and Hillary around, from downtown bars to a Riverside storage unit to the Woodbury County Courthouse, even an (Interstate 29) construction site."

Zahren's "Avenging Angel" is available in paperback and by eBook through online book sellers like and local retailers like Sioux City Gifts, 1922 Pierce St.

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