I read this book about 17-Jan-2023. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2004. This note was last modified Friday, 20-Jan-2023 17:15:29 PST.
This is book 4 of the "Joe Pickett" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Now the 4th book; thanks, library!
Too woo. Joe actively objects to woo interpretations of things, and the book still ends up too woo for my entire happiness.
Nothing is definitely explained as being aliens, but too many characters take the possibility seriously. Or other idiotic conspiracy theories. At least the crop circle is pretty definitely diagnosed as being where a horse trainer set up her round pen.
We have cattle (and human and horse and moose) mutilations in multiple states across decades, and a crazy investigator who is actually the instigator, and at least one really crazy hanger on.
Joe really should have been more worried when the woman he doubted was 18 sent him nude photos. Child porn laws are draconian.
An incipient energy production boom, meaning huge environmental damage, turns out to be the common factor in the places the mutilations have happened in exactly this way.
With the cell service and radio range limitations, they really ought to buy Joe a satellite phone! I guess that's too expensive for the DNR, and it would make it harder to isolate Joe from his support. (Yes, there were handheld satphones in service the year this books is set.)