DNA-test researcher Peyton McKean and his sidekick Fin Morton are called in to help unravel some inexplicable DNA results in a grisly murder case in a desert canyon in eastern Washington State. Blood traces suggest the perpetrator was wounded but the sample contains DNA from both canine and human sources. While McKean gathers more samples, Charlie Moses, a Native American traditionalist whose campsite is nearby, joins them. Sheriff Joe Tanner quickly establishes that Moses has no alibi and moves him to the top of his list of suspects. Moses, on the other hand, proposes that the killer might be Woyotl, a half-man, half-coyote creature of his family legends.
McKean confirms that the blood indeed contains both human and canine DNA, and this leads him to play a hunch. He visits the nearby Hanford Nuclear Power facility where a former colleague, Derek Curman, was carrying out experiments aimed at creating dogs capable of entering radiation spill sites. It doesn't take long to establish that Curman had genetically altered his dogs, and also to learn he has mysteriously disappeared, taking one of them with him.
These are just the first clues in a long and convoluted trail that leads back to the canyon, to Moses, and to an entity too awful to contemplate, created by Curman. McKean's horror grows as he realizes the solution to this murder mystery is more astonishing—and terrifying—than anyone could have suspected.
Mad, mad dog
This one will give you the creeps. Someone or something has killed two duck hunters in Eastern Washington and left their bones scattered on the ground. Was the killer human? Animal? Or something else?