Spring has finally come to Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is relieved the long, harsh winter is over. However, a dark cloud threatens to spoil the milder weather. Local ranch owner and matriarch Opal Scarlett has vanished under suspicious circumstances. Two of her sons, Hank and Arlen, are battling for control of their mother ...
Spring has finally come to Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is relieved the long, harsh winter is over. However, a dark cloud threatens to spoil the milder weather. Local ranch owner and matriarch Opal Scarlett has vanished under suspicious circumstances. Two of her sons, Hank and Arlen, are battling for control of their mother's multi-million-dollar empire, and their bitter fight threatens to tear the whole town apart. Everyone is so caught up in the brothers' battle that they seem to have forgotten that Opal is still missing. Joe is convinced, though, that one of the brothers murdered their mother. Determined to uncover the truth, he is attacked and nearly beaten to death by Hank Scarlett's new right-hand man on the ranch - a recently arrived stranger who looks eerily familiar...A series of threatening messages and attempts to sabotage Joe's career follow. At first, he thinks the attacks are connected with his investigation of Opal's disappearance, but he soon learns that someone else is after him - someone with a very personal grudge who wants to make Joe pay...and pay dearly.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-03-20 Wyoming Game and Fish warden Joe Pickett-honest, upright and hardworking-tends to attract the meanest villains this side of a spaghetti western, as shown in his sprightly sixth outing in which he and his family become the target of John Wayne Keeley, a misguided, conscienceless killer. In addition, Opal Scarlett, the matriarch of a wealthy ranching clan, is missing, and two of her sons, Hank and Arlen, are fighting over the estate. Joe's daughter, Sheridan, is best friends with Hank's daughter, Julie, which puts Sheridan in danger. As usual, hotheaded Joe is also in trouble with his boss, self-serving Randy Pope. When Joe is pulled off of the search for Opal, he stubbornly follows his instincts rather than orders, bringing down Pope's wrath. Edgar-finalist Box (Out of Range) expertly evokes Wyoming's landscape, wildlife, people and politics. Joe's love for the natural world shines throughout, but his lack of political finesse costs him his job by book's end. Fans will eagerly wait to see how he recoups his fortunes in the next installment. 15-city author tour. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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