“Winterkill” by C.J. Box
This is the third book in the Joe Pickett series. I have taken a long time to get back to C.J. Box, but, for the next few months….I will read nothing but Box so I can catch up.
In one subplot, Joe is out taking care of his designated area as Game Warden. A winter storm is bearing down on Twelve Sleep County, Wyoming. He hears multiple gunshots and drives to the area to find several dead elk and the district supervisor for the Twelve Sleep National Forest, Lamar Gardiner, kneeling down trying to re-load his gun (with cigarettes).
Joe apprehends Lamar, but, Lamar unexpectedly handcuffs Joe to his steering wheel and runs away just as the snow starts. Joe frees himself and finds Lamar tacked to a tree….impaled by two special hunting arrows.
Lamar dies, and all hell breaks loose for Joe.
In another sub plot, Joe and his wife have been trying to adopt April since they took her in after her father was killed and her mother took off. So far, the process has not proceeded as expected.
April’s real mother arrives with a bunch of anti-government activists and takes April back.
“Winterkill” develops both sub-plots as they converge then diverge. Joe finds himself dealing with fanatical government higher ups, the relatively benign group of anti-government activists, and April’s real mother who loves April and the affection seems to be returned.
Tragedy strikes as “Winterkill” progresses rapidly to an action filled ending.