Maybe the deaths of four men in arid La Sal County, Colorado, have nothing to do with each other, even if one of them was a contract scientist for the Department of the Interior, another an agent with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and a third a police informant. But on the chance that they're all connected, the feds send Denver Homicide Sgt. Gabe Wager (Blood Line, 1995, etc.) to check--and, incidentally, to coordinate the fractured investigations of the FBI, the BLM, and the county sheriff's office. The rivalries among the good guys are more interesting than the endless waves of bad guys--a sticky-fingered tribal council, corrupt government officials, a cabal of militant separatists, and enough murderers to clog the La Sal County courts for months, if summary justice doesn't catch up with them first. The most memorable presence, in fact, is the parched, austere land Burns has wisely made his title character.