It's elk season in the Rockies, but this year one hunter is stalking a different kind of prey.
When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains - strung up, gutted, skinned, and beheaded, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to his body.
Ripples of horror spread through the community, and with a possibly psychotic killer on the loose, Governor Rulon is forced to end hunting season early for the first time in state history - outraging hunters and potentially crippling the state's income from the loss of hunting license revenue. But when the brutal murders eerily coincide with the arrival of radical anti-hunting activist Klamath Moore, Pickett knows the Governor's ruling is the least of his worries. Are the murders the work of a deranged activist or of a lone psychopath with a personal vendetta?
As always, Joe Pickett is the governor's go-to man, and he's put on the case to track the murderous hunter, as more bodies - and poker chips - turn up.
Box's disappointing eighth installment of the celebrated Joe Pickett series is a suspenseful journey which casts our hero in a brutal murder investigation that may lead to his own demise. David Chandler reads with great dedication and clarity to the tale, but he is simply not Joe Pickett. Chandler's voice is that of a Broadway star, not a Wyoming game warden, and the story suffers because of it. There is no attempt at even the slightest mid-western dialect here; Chandler drones on and on in a monotone voice that is more likely to put listeners to bed than at the edge of their seats. When the narrator seems less than enthused with a story, the audience stands no chance. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 17).