Storm Watch by CJ Box

Danger looms throughout this book and the threats range from the weather, including late season snowstorms in the mountains that close every road, including the interstates, to local militant groups with mysterious funding.

As the book begins, Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett, is trying to track a wounded elk while a major snowstorm is moving down from the mountains. While tracking the elk – to put it down quickly rather than let it die a slow torturous death – he comes upon a mysterious building on a rancher’s property and the body of a man who has been gruesomely murdered. Joe manages to document the scene and learns that the victim is a professor at the University of Wyoming, before he must retreat from the rapidly worsening weather. But when he returns to the scene the next day, the body is gone, and someone starts shooting at him! Even more surprising, his investigation is obstructed by local law enforcement, but also the governor.

Meanwhile, his longtime friend Nate Romanowski is considering a Bitcoin proposal from his new friend, Geronimo Jones, to help finance expansion of his falconry business. Nate is also approached by a local militant group suggesting that Wyoming secede from the union among other radical ideas. But since Nate had been hounded by the federal government for years, he has some sympathy for the cause of local independence, and this sympathy may put him at odds with his friend Joe Pickett.

This book is very topical, discussing issues like Bitcoin, Chinese spying in the US, and political movements possibly started by so-called radical extremists. Yet somehow Joe Pickett manages to follow his own path and moral code, even when it places his life in mortal danger.

This was an excellent book by one of my favorite authors.