Dear Mr. Harstad,
My eyes have suddenly been torn open to the world. My old vision of this planet and its inhabitants has been savagely ripped apart. I have always known tragedy and death to be a daily experience in our lives. Believe me, my family has been through our share of tragedies. I have only now realized how accidents differ from gruesome crimes, like murdering someone. Eleven Days, in a strange way, has been my savior.
I’m an adamant television watcher and love to watch crime solving shows, so I was immediately drawn to your book. As a fellow Iowans, I felt like it was my civil duty to ready Eleven Days because, as most people know, Iowa usually isn’t a state that is written about in books. Sometimes I almost believe that your boo was magnificently written for my eyes, and my eyes only. It’s hard to even explain how perfect of a book it was for me.
Ever since I read Eleven Days, I have viewed our world differently. I’ve always heard horrible stories on the news, but your book made me realize the real insanity of people roaming in the same streets we roam. I also can’t grasp how people become involved in satanic cults. I’ve known of people who believe in Satan, but I didn’t know that an actual religion was involved. I guess I assumed that they just didn’t believe in Jesus. I was so intrigued that I even looked up information about existing satanic cults. Researching is not something I choose to do often, but your book actually made me want to.
As I mentioned before, my family has been struck by tragedy before. My cousins were killed in a car crash when they were teenagers, and I vividly remember how they looked in their coffins. Their faces were puffy and for some reason, my mind kept wondering what they looked like while they were still strapped and suspended upside down in their car. At times, I made myself physically sick just at the thought. As much as I was engrossed in Eleven Days, the descriptions of the terrible deformed bodies made me remember my cousins. I felt compelled to read on because I had a very strong connection with the pain and suffering that went along with the characters in the book.
Since you were a deputy sheriff, I thought you had a great deal of accurate information on how Carl spent his time when he wasn’t at work. My cousin is currently a policeman in the small Iowa town where I go to school. During the weeks he works the night shift, he is exhausted after he arrives back at his two-bedroom apartment. He doesn’t even have to worry about solving a horrible murder, and it’s still had for him to drift off into a deep slumber. Policemen really need to be tough to handle all those late nights of analyzing. Carl was tough and had integrity which allowed him to close the case. I could only dream of having half the integrity he had. I don’t even have enough integrity to finish my homework at night!
Your novel and my savior, Eleven Days, will forever stay in my thoughts. Whenever I think that I’m in pain or suffering, I’ll just remember the victims in your novel. I will pray that no one in this world will ever have as large of a burden hanging from his shoulders as Carl Houseman had. My only hope is that we can learn from books like yours to better this environment, and to prevent something this tragic from happening.