I read this book about 7-Feb-2023. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2005. This note was last modified Friday, 10-Feb-2023 18:31:41 PST.
This is book 5 of the "Joe Pickett" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Pickett fills in temporarily for another long-time game warden who has committed suicide. He has the Jackson Hole district, which is very political due to being full of rich people's homes and wealthy tourists. During the book the Vice President visits, even (for no reason adequately explained).
I started being annoyed at Joe being even less mentally competent, and more emotionally incompetent, than usual—and at least a considerable part of it turns out to have been externally induced as a plot point. So, that's good. He and Marybeth avoid serious conflict, which is good too; she'd win hands down, and the damage would be monumental.
The political issue this book is built around (I feel like I'm seeing a pattern) is "good meat"; there's a "good meat" million-dollar home development being planned, which Joe (and the previous game warden, who appeared to commit suicide but was actually murdered) are not going to approve as-is.
I think I see the author feeling a little "a plague on all of your houses" at the loony animal rights and food people, the money-over-everything greedy people, and the local conservative hunters (and guides). He quotes a lot of sources, and it seems to me impossible for him to respect all of them, they disagree in ways not compatible with respect. But what do I know? Not issues I've studied deeply.
Joe's daughter Sheridan has almost nothing to do this book.
We're left with Joe suspended, and his job position probably depending on who is elected governor and thus who is appointed to head the state agency. But I happen to know there are 20 more books, so I'll make a guess that he comes through somehow.