Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in.
Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police. As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep.
The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear. Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.
Shaken by the sight, Joe starts to investigate what he hopes is an isolated incident. Governor Rulon - a devious but down-home politico - has a special request. Clay McCann, a lawyer who slaughtered four campers in cold blood in a far-off corner of Yellowstone National Park, had immediately turned himself in at the nearest park ranger station - except that the crimes were committed in a thin sliver of land with zero residents and overlapping jurisdiction, the so-called free-fire zone. He was there, and he was unable to save her. When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested.
Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn't know what to do - especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin. But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl's death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? In , Nate was in a secret Special Forces unit abroad when a colleague did something terrible. Now high up in the government, the man is determined to eliminate anyone who knows about it, and Nate knows exactly how he'll do it — by striking at Nate's friends to draw him out.
The entire Pickett family will be a target, and the only way to fight back is outside the law. Nate knows he can do it, but he isn't sure about his straight-arrow friend — and all their lives could depend on it. Butch Roberson was known by all as a local business owner, a hard worker, and a family man. Then he disappeared, leaving two dead bodies in his wake.
Now he's known as a murderer - though Joe Pickett cannot believe someone as gentle as Butch could have the instincts of a killer. Everything about the ranch is a mystery. Rumours abound about the millionaire who owns it, the women who live with him, and the sudden disappearances. Joe Pickett is tasked by the governor to find the truth.
There are two other men living up at the ranch. One is a stone-cold killer who takes an instant dislike to Joe. The first man doesn't frighten him. But the second is another story entirely. Joe has good reason to dislike Dallas Cates - his eighteen-year-old foster daughter, April, has run off with him.
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And then comes worse news: the body of a girl has been found in a ditch along the highway — barely alive, the victim of blunt force trauma. It is April, and the doctors don't know if she'll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it - but Joe knows in his gut who's responsible. But they're not the only ones looking for him. Nate finds himself confronted by agents who need his help assessing a potential terror threat in Wyoming's Red Desert. In return they'll make Nate's criminal record disappear. Meanwhile, Joe investigates a rash of crimes and secretive federal activity.
As they pursue their quarries, both men will be drawn deep into a secret that could take them both down. The plane circled in the dark. Down below, Joe Pickett could just make out figures in the snow and timber. Henry P. Scroggins III.
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