Mangas County has a wolf problem. That’s why Special Deputy Jessie Torres spends her days examining wolf-killed livestock and pets in the rugged backcountry of western New Mexico. Despite the heartbreak of every so often having to deal with the death of a valued ranch dog or a favorite rodeo horse, she enjoys her work. She’s outdoors, by herself, doing a job that needs doing. But lately what Jessie is seeing doesn’t make sense: too many kills, too much blood, and more wolves at the kills than are part of any local pack. Just what is going on?
Now the isolated county is being invaded for the long July 4th holiday weekend and Jessie’s been pulled from her wilderness work to deal with human beings instead of critters. Thousands of born-again hippies are squatting in the National Forest for a Gathering, tourists and locals are pouring into the county seat of Largo Creek for the parade and other events, and the sheriff is telling his deputies to hush up about the suspicious and bloody death of someone Jessie knows all too well. Juggling all this plus the demands of her grandmother, an Apache curandera and the unofficial ruler of the area, will try Jessie’s strength and ingenuity to the limit.Meet the Author