When a couple of rabid environmentalists start cutting barbed-wire fences and shooting cattle in an attempt to chase ranchers off their generations-old Montana spreads, fiddler/deputy Gabriel Du Prâ€š predicts that they'll be the next shooting victims. What he doesn't predict is that the resulting range war will leave the two eco-terrorists in the dust as only the first of 18 dead, including four more anti-ranching activists (not counting half a dozen coyotes), eight mourners buried in an avalanche and mostly eaten by wolves, and then--methodically, one at a time--every police suspect who might throw any light on the mystery. Underneath the pattern of fatal shootouts with the reluctant local law and an endearing FBI agent with hair on her chest, Du Prâ€š finds the fingerprints of the megaranching Martin family. But even his certainty that they're involved in the wanton killing leaves plenty of room for surprises all over the map. Plotting as scattershot as the wholesale violence won't win any new puzzle-minded fans for Du Prâ€š's third adventure (Specimen Song, 1995, etc.). But his unapologetically up-the-establishment point of view and Bowen's offspeed prose make him one of the most striking new regional detectives.