This is a mystery with a western flair.
It took me a few pages to get into this novel, but after that it was quite interesting. I read few books using the west as a setting.
The main character is Joe Pickett, a game warden and family man in
Wyoming. The story starts out with Mr. Pickett finding
a field full of dead sage grouse, an endangered species. There’s a snow storm coming and he doesn’t
have time to go back there and collect the evidence of who committed the crime because
he gets called away.
The call is for a girl found beaten in a ditch. She ends up being one of his daughters, the one who ran off with a rodeo cowboy he doesn’t like. Immediately Joe suspects the cowboy, Dallas Cates, of the crime. But supposedly he’s laid up in bed from injuries he sustained at the
His daughter, April, spends much of the book in the hospital while Joe chases down leads and investigates the crime along with trying to catch the poachers of the sage grouse. It seemed as if he became obsessed over finding out who beat up his daughter, leaving no stone unturned, and finding the poachers of the sage grouse taking second place. This is because Joe is a kind, ordinary guy who loves his family deeply. Whoever beat his daughter and left her for dead would pay the price, if he had his say about it.
Joe Pickett’s investigation leads him to a crazy family living outside of town. They are criminals that don’t think anything about taking the law into their own hands. These characters are interesting, to say the least. I really liked these creeps and could picture all the action taking place around them. Nice description, well done.
Nate Romanowski makes a brief appearance. He’s a falconer and a good friend of Joe’s, which seems strange because Nate often works outside the law. Joe takes his job as game warden seriously. He believes in upholding the law. I’d like to find out more about this character, Nate, so I may search his other books to see which ones he plays a bigger role in. I wasn’t aware this book was part of a series because it reads like a stand-alone novel.
There’s a lot going on in this book and the author keeps you guessing who the bad guy may be through some twists and turns in the story.
Over all, this was a worthwhile read.