Rogue bureaucrats, international terrorists, Cajun outlaws, and the odd carnivore gang up on a heavily outnumbered undercover team from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Only the fish are neutral in Goddard's (The Alchemist, Balefire) bloody, entertaining, eco-thriller. Well, why not? There probably are two-fisted Fish and Wildlife employees who don't talk in that ultrasoothing PBS drone. What is perhaps harder to swallow is Goddard's suggestion that there might be high-level Cabinet officials with the nerve and imagination to buy into Operation Counter Wrench--a vicious, well-funded, semiprivate effort to ruin the world green movement with a series of spectacular terrorist acts to be blamed on overzealous eco- weenies. Fortunately for the balance of nature, former San Diego cop Henry Lightstone has been recruited to the Department of the Interior's supersecret task force of undercover wildlife rangers. Disguised as a free-spending hunter with Teddy Rooseveltian appetites, Lightstone hires the vicious, criminal, forbidden-game- hunting Chareaux brothers of Louisiana to help him bag bears in Yellowstone National Park and then stumbles into Operation Wrench, where he finds himself battling grizzlies cheek by jowl with an undersecretary and a beautiful Brooklyn politician who's only truly satisfied when her life is threatened with immense natural danger. The creatures from inside the Beltway quickly show themselves to be ten times more dangerous than the wildlife. Goddard, director of The National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, packs in enough authentic fin-and-critter detail to pull off his extraordinarily far-fetched and relentlessly violent plot. Not for the fainthearted.