Review: Pioneer Press calls Dead Too Long Handberg's 'Most Accomplished'

Dead Too Long hits bookshelves today! 

Mary Ann Grossman of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that Ron Handberg's sixth book is his "most accomplished."

Handberg has created a likable, smart, tenacious woman in Gabby, who’s dedicated to the highest standards of journalism she learned from her dad. Zach is gentle and caring. Even the perp is unusual. The secondary characters are interesting, too, from a police detective to Gabby’s mom and a little poodle. Dialogue is spot-on and Handberg smoothly weaves together the two story tracks — the investigation and the danger from Gabby’s ex.
“Dead Too Long” has the feel of the first of a series. Let’s hope so.
Read the full review here, and find Dead Too Long at bookstores everywhere today!

Ron's New Book

Reporter Gabriel “Gabby” Gooding’s unexpected arrival at Channel 7 was not only met with suspicion and resentment, but her first story, the discovery of a long-dead body in the basement of a Minneapolis home, pits her against the rest of the staff when she suspects that it is more than a suicide. To add to her troubles before she can even get a chance to settle in, Gabby is forced to confront her past when it tracks her down to the Twin Cities.  As her investigation unfolds, Gabby and photographer Zach Anthony simultaneously fight her past and follow the twisted trail of a federal fugitive hiding in plain sight, a fugitive who would do anything to protect his identity...and his freedom.

Praise for Dead Too Long:

“Ron Handberg’s Dead too Long is another taut tale about those who cover the news we watch.  And why not?  The author is one of America’s greatest newsmen.  This story isn’t ripped from the headlines.  It is a story of that awful moment when the headlines come home to roost.” – former WCCO personality Don Shelby 

“As suspenseful as they come with plenty of roller-coaster twists and turns - as well as insights into a TV newsroom in the Internet age.  Handberg has created a winning character in Gabby, a feisty and appealing reporter determined to get her story no matter what.” -- David Housewright, Edgar-Award winning author  

About the Author: Ron Handberg has spent his entire career in broadcast journalism, beginning as a writer/reporter at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis all the way to News Director and, finally, as VP/General Manager of the television station. Over those years, the station’s news department became one of the most-honored in the country, winning numerous national and international awards for its reporting and documentary production. This is Ron’s sixth novel

Latest News & Reviews:

MIDWEST BOOK AWARDS: "Deadly Reunion" has been named one of three finalists in the Genre Fiction category of the Midwest Book Awards, which will be announced on May 11.

THE NORTHEASTER: Kerry Ashmore, editor of the Northeaster newspaper, raved about "Deadly Reunion" in the Dec. 1 issue: "Simply put, from the beginning Author's Note on, it was riveting...Deadly Reunion's 300-plus pages flew by faster than any I have read in the past three decades."

Read the whole review here.

MINNESOTA MONTHLY: The December issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine included "Deadly Reunion" in its "What to read over the holidays" feature, alongside Peg Meier's "Wishing for a Snow Day" and Walter Mondale's "The Good Fight."

PIONEER PRESS: Mary Ann Grossman gave "Deadly Reunion" a positive review in the Oct. 3 issue of the Pioneer Press: "It has been 10 years since former WCCO television news director/general manager Handberg published a mystery. So, it's good to have him back with 'Deadly Reunion,' featuring likable George Barclay, a single, slightly overweight and socially inept TV news director...Although there are plenty of thrills and twists in this novel, it also has a sweetness, especially in the mature romance between Rachel and George."

Read the whole article here.


Welcome to the online home of Ron Handberg Books, featuring my latest mystery, again set in a mythical Twin Cities television newsroom. "Deadly Reunion" was published Sept. 1, 2010 (North Star Press of St. Cloud, Trade Paperback: $14.95).

Veteran TV news director George Barclay is an unlikely hero: single, ungainly, and—by his own admission—something of a social misfit, ill-at-ease almost everywhere except in his own newsroom, where he is a respected journalist, admired by colleagues and competitors alike.

On a whim, Barclay decides to attend his 25th high school reunion—mostly to catch a glimpse of a girl for whom he’d had a long-distance crush a quarter-century before. Instead, he is shocked to learn that she and two other young women had been raped and murdered by an apparent serial killer several years after their high school graduation. Crimes that have gone unsolved for almost two decades.

“The thought of this girl, this woman, once so alive, lying dead and discarded in some park, those glistening eyes lifeless, that wonderful body cold and violated, made him as angry—and sad—as he had ever felt.”

In the days that follow, a reluctant Barclay is persuaded by the dead girl’s still-grieving friends to pursue the old and cold case, teaming up with a crusty, retired homicide detective who led the original investigation into the murders.

Barclay’s meticulous investigation and intuition lead him down a surprising path never followed by police, and straight into the arms of a killer who has been hiding in plain sight for almost twenty years.

Advance Praise for "Deadly Reunion":
“Start spreading the news! Ron Handberg is back with a new dose of murder, mystery, and media intrigue.” (Brian Freeman, author of The Burying Place)

“No author today captures the personality of a working newsroom the way Ron Handberg does. He is an old-school reporter for whom journalism is not a job, but a calling. There is a lot of passion in this book and its characters, but the chief passion is the drive to find the truth and tell it – long after the truth has been given up for dead.” (Don Shelby, veteran TV reporter and anchor)

About Me

I have spent my entire career in broadcast journalism, beginning as a writer/reporter at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis in the early ‘60’s, moving on to a similar position at WCCO Television a few years later.

In the following years, I was named Associate News Director, News Director, and, finally, as VP/General Manager of the television station. Over those years, the station’s news department became one of the most-honored in the country, winning numerous national and international awards for its reporting and documentary production.

In 1989, after almost thirty years in broadcasting, I retired and began to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a novelist. Over the next decade, I wrote four novels, all set within the fascinating world of television news.

In 1992, Savage Justice was published in hardcover by Birch Lane Press, and in paperback by HarperPaperbacks. In addition, this book and the others to follow were published in several different foreign countries.

In 1993, Birch Lane Press published my second novel, Cry Vengeance, also in hardcover, with paperback rights again going to HarperPaperbacks.

In 1997, Malice Intended was published as a paperback original by HarperPaperbacks. This book, like the previous two, and by the following two, was set in a mythical television newsroom, featuring journalistic investigations by a provocative cast of characters.

The fourth book, Dead Silence, was published in 1999, also as a paperback original by HarperPaperbacks. This book was a fictionalized version of a real event—the disappearance of three young brothers—in Minneapolis in the early 50’s.

Contact me at

Recent Events:

The Mall of America Barnes & Noble hosted Ron for a holiday book signing on Dec. 10.

Ron appeared on KARE 11's Showcase Minnesota with Rob Hudson on Oct. 8.

A nice turnout for Ron's Oct. 5 discussion and signing at the Barnes & Noble at HarMar Mall in Roseville, Minn.