A third trip into the wilds of Wyoming with Harry Starbranch, the tough-as-old-boots sheriff of tiny Victory (Long Shadows in Victory, 1996, etc.). Harry's still in the throes of reconciliation with ex-wife Nicole, but he's finding life not unpleasant. The calm is shattered, though, with the discovery, in nearby mountain foothills, of the mangled body of Liam O'Bannion. O'Bannion had been a guest--not a welcome one--of pub-owning Mayor Curly Ahearn, Harry's best friend, whose long-estranged daughter, Faith, had been living with O'Bannion in San Francisco. The two young people were staying with her parents, in a stab at reconciliation, while O'Bannion visited nearby Rock Springs on business. The night before the body was found, Curly had nearly killed O'Bannion after an ugly public incident; now Curly's gun is missing, and when the medical examiner finds a matching bullet in the corpse, Curly's longtime enemy County Sheriff Anthony Baldi can hardly wait to arrest him. Meanwhile, Harry, convinced of Curly's innocence, is determined to find the murderer. He tracks O'Bannion's business--ostensibly the purchase of Wyoming jade--back to mobster Sam Pantaleo and his vicious henchman. A trip to San Francisco turns up a fortune tied to the supposedly bankrupt O'Bannion, along with a connection to the Chinese underworld. Then a call from Harry's trusted deputy sends him flying home to confront personal disaster and yet another crisis. Scenes of torture, bone-crunching violence, and graphic sex are leavened somewhat by many (perhaps too many) extended passages on Wyoming's scenic wonders and the joys of fishing its waters. But Harry's indestructible sense of mission is what will propel most readers to the finish. Flawed but gripping.