The opening of deer season always brings a Texas-sized wave of excitement to sleepy Blanco County, but this year, game warden John Marlin is finding mysteries as thick as ticks on a whitetail's rump. First, there are reports of a blonde bombshell who's been raising Cain with hunters, scaring away wildlife and trashing vehicles. Then, there's the tragic discovery of a local man shot to death and left in his deer blind. Further muddying the watering holes are the schemes of a recently relocated East Coast wiseguy now called Sal Mameli, who along with his son Vinnie-a wannabe gangster with more muscles than brains-has been trying to corner the area's lucrative brush-clearing market. And finally, a feisty old rancher has disappeared, leaving behind a trail of blood and enough questions to keep both John Marlin and the local sheriff chasing their tails for some time to come. Just as he did in his Edgar Award-nominated novel Buck Fever, Ben Rehder serves up a generous helping of murder, mystery and down-home humor in a place where the sun is hot, the beer is cold, and 'most every neck is good and red.