by C. J. Box
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2014. 370 pgs. Mystery
Joe Pickett, the best sort of game warden who has lately dealt as much with the deaths of people as the poaching of animals, finds himself in another sticky wicket as he is on secret assignment from the governor to investigate a wealthy benefactor of the people of Medicine Wheel County. Wolfgang Templeton is rumored to have been a Wall Street tycoon who got fed up with the business and fled, but not without taking a pile of dough with him. Templeton is also rumored to be a financier of contract hits on some marks richly deserving of death. Joe is not welcomed with open arms when he arrives under cover of an assignment to relocate a flock of pheasants (which would be instantly poached) and to help the resident warden locate places to establish wildlife appreciation centers. Most of the county's population is beholden in some way to Templeton and the last investigator to the county died mysteriously in a motel fire. Joe's life is threatened as well, perhaps by a friend who may have gone to the dark side. A side-story in which Joe's daughter Sheridan is keeping her eye on a loner Goth with a gun obsession at her dorm at the University of Wyoming keeps that tension ratcheted right to the breaking point in another great mystery from the Mountain West.