The FBI asks Wager to clean up a mess on an Indian reservation
Pressure is rising at Colorado’s Squaw Point Reservation, and the area is about to explode. After a federal agent is murdered and several park rangers are attacked, a mess of federal agencies descends on the area, hopelessly muddying the situation. To put a local face on the investigation, the FBI recruits Denver homicide detective Gabe Wager. When he arrives on the reservation, he finds a local populace that’s too frightened to talk to the police. A survivalist militia called the Constitutional Posse has taken control of the area, and threatens harm to anyone stupid enough to question its agenda. When Wager pushes against the Posse, they push back, giving him a savage thrashing. To beat them, he’ll have to remind the locals that no militia is as terrifying as a determined cop.
Veteran Denver homicide detective Gabe Wager gets a delicate assignment in his 11th appearance (Blood Line, 1995), which leads him off his urban turf and into the desolate desert and scrub of west central Colorado. In this sparsely populated land of ranches and reservations, four deaths--three homicides and one that might be--have gone unsolved, and the law enforcement agencies whose responsibilities overlap in the region are at odds. Wager's task is to investigate and mediate so the murders are solved. The dead include a Bureau of Land Management official; an FBI informant; a USGS geologist and an Indian whose death may or may not be related. The federal agencies, the La Sal County sheriff's office and the Ute Indian Squaw Point Reservation's Tribal Police are all involved. A survivalist group known as the Constitutional Posse is under suspicion; there is a convoluted plan to bring a fancy gambling casino onto the Indian scrub land; and good old-fashioned adultery is another possible motive. Burns handles the welter of bureaucratic jurisdictions and the inanity of the many regulations affecting the Utes with sympathy and grace. And Wager deftly negotiates sabotage, a beating and an ambush in this alien land to find the right trail that leads to a satisfying solution.