Just because you’re done with the past doesn’t mean the past is done with you, as former Maine game warden Mike Bowditch discovers when his field training officer is shot virtually before his eyes.
Since parting company with the Warden Service two months ago, Mike’s been making ends meet by working as a fishing guide and acting as an informal live-in watchdog for Elizabeth Morse’s spread. All that changes when Sgt. Kathy Frost, his old mentor, and rookie warden Danielle Tate respond to Lyla Gammon’s frantic 911 call to find Lyla’s son Jimmy, a troubled Afghan war veteran, barricaded in the family barn with the horses and a gun. After Kathy acknowledges that she shot Jimmy dead when he drew on her, she herself is ambushed in her home, along with her beloved dog, Pluto. Mike, arriving on the scene just in time to get his windshield shot out and scare off the shooter, resolves to bring in the perp. As Kathy hovers in a coma between life and death, Mike gets down to business by doing what he does best: going head to head with everyone in sight, from his hopeless love, Stacey Stevens, to Kathy’s brother, Kurt Eklund, an alcoholic carpenter he finds passed out in her bed. And of course Mike always has time to antagonize his old nemesis Col. Duane Harkavy, the chief commanding officer of the Warden Service.
The question of who shot Kathy Frost is less urgent than the question of how many more enemies Mike (Bad Little Falls, 2012, etc.) can make in the state of Maine before he burns a hole in the map and drops headlong through it.