Signet, April 2003, 5.99, 304 pp.
In Nitro, West Virginia, Falconer Chester Carew is working his bird Elo when the falcon suddenly disappears. Chester is able to track him via a telemetry recoverer, but he walks into an ambush and is murdered, shot in the back. Attending the funeral is fellow falconers Frank Pavlicek and his former partner in the NYPD Jake Toronto. Chester's widow wants to hire Frank, who now works as a private investigator in Virginia, to find out who killed her husband.
The police tell her it was probably a drunken hunter but Mrs. Carew thinks the Stonewall Rangers, a local right wing militia group, had something to do with it. As soon as Frank starts asking questions and stirring the locals up, he is asked to “stand down” by the local police, the FBI and the ATF who have a sting operation in place that takes priority. Frank isn't one to back off and that is a good trait because he learns that the stingers are about to be stung.
The protagonist, Frank Pavlicek is a strong willed character who is so loyal to those he cares about that when Mr. Toronto is arrested, Frank does everything in his power to help him. The events that take place in this book are a reflection of the persistent atmosphere of the United States government following the events of September 11, 2001. Andy Straka not only knows how to weave current events into his story line, but also he creates an exciting thought provoking who-done-it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner