Deputy state police chief Kevin Kerney is weeks away from trading in his badge for a rancher's hat, when six murders are committed late one night at remote campgrounds in south central New Mexico. Most of the evidence points to the work of a spree killer, but peculiarities at one crime scene suggest another grisly possibility, that five random people have been shot to death to cover the premeditated murder of the sixth victim, Vernon Langsford, a retired judge and wealthy businessman.
Ruling out neither scenario, Kerney uses all the available resources of the New Mexico State Police to mount a high-profile search for the possible spree killer and conduct a deep probe into the life of Vernon Langsford. Under pressure to make an arrest, Kerney pieces together a shocking history of family betrayal, is harassed by a stalker with an unknown agenda, forced into a gunfight with a crooked cop that may taint his entire career, and shaken by new doubts about his plan to give up police work. Most troubling of all, he is reacquainted with a proud Apache woman from his past, who discloses a secret of her own which could easily disrupt his recent marriage to a wife he rarely sees, career army officer Sara Brannon. Challenged by the most sensational case of his career, Kerney must use all his skill to track down and bring to justice a brilliant and ruthless killer.
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