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Overview

John Marquez is back - but his mission is the same: shut down animal traffickers.  Still attached to the California Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit, it's the open, unsolved investigations that now land on his desk.



Then a tip call comes which reveals the location of a gun used to kill two young women camping along the Klamath River two years ago. At the same...
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Die-Off

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Overview

John Marquez is back - but his mission is the same: shut down animal traffickers.  Still attached to the California Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit, it's the open, unsolved investigations that now land on his desk.



Then a tip call comes which reveals the location of a gun used to kill two young women camping along the Klamath River two years ago. At the same time, Marquez is on the hunt for a notorious animal trafficker known as Rider, who’s rumoured to have a hideout in mountainous northern California. The subsequent discovery of thousands of invasive northern pike triggers a cascade of clues and questions that draws Marquez away from his pursuit of Rider. Or do they? Is there a connection?



When a Siskiyou County investigator and an ambitious sheriff question Marquez’s interest in the murders of the two women and his relentless presence in the remote northern county, the stakes rise ever higher – and the way forward is fraught with risk.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
In Russell’s solid fifth mystery featuring Lt. John Marquez (after 2011’s Redback), the former DEA agent turned Northern California game warden doggedly follows the trail of shadowy figures who are systematically violating environmental laws. At the same time, Marquez investigates a new lead in the brutal murder of a pair of campers that occurred two years earlier, in the process arousing suspicion himself. Connections gradually emerge between the cold case and the planned ecological crime, a scheme to render environmental-impact lawsuits over water rights moot by dumping a devastatingly invasive fish species into Northern California’s rivers. Marquez is a sympathetic, meticulous, and resolute investigator, but other characters tend to speak in overlong expository lumps and gnomic retorts as Marquez questions them, and the villains’ motives never quite become believable. Still, the setting is portrayed with care, and the chance to root for an animal-saving, nature-loving detective is a pleasant respite from the weary cynicism of typical police procedurals. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip Spitzer Literary Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Agent John Marquez, investigator for the Special Operations Unit of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is hunting for a gang of traffickers who deal in live animals and priceless animal parts—elephant tusks, tiger skins, rare birds and snakes. All Marquez knows about the frustratingly elusive gang is that the ringleader is named Rider. So when he gets a call from someone claiming to be Rider, pointing him to a gun supposedly used in the brutal murder of two young women two years earlier, Marquez is intrigued. But how does Rider know about the gun? Is he merely leading Marquez on a merry chase to distract him from finding the animal traffickers? A feisty local sheriff, a renegade biologist, a plot to stock California’s rivers with deadly northern pike, more murders, a kidnapping, sex, and drugs all play a role in this complex but gripping story. In the hands of a less-talented writer, this multilayered, complicated plot might have fallen apart, but Russell makes it work, taunting, teasing, upsetting, and challenging the reader.
Booklist on Die Off

"Cooked at a slow simmer, the story explodes in the second half, demanding readers' full attention"
Library Journal on Die-Off

“Marquez’s fifth (Redback, 2011, etc.) is chillingly descriptive and packed with suspense, secrets, violence and nonstop action.”
Kirkus Reviews on Die-Off
 
“Russell’s solid fifth mystery featuring Lt. John Marquez”
Publishers Weekly on Die-Off

 

PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS BY KIRK RUSSELL
 “Solid writing, a twisted, keep-’em-guessing plot, and a likable rogue hero drive this entertaining thriller”
Booklist on One Through the Heart
 
“Russell has crafted an addictive police procedural on speed, with requisite intricate plotting and a stunning conclusion. It's all in the details, which Russell manages to juggle adeptly. If you've missed Russell in the past, grab the first title in the series (A Killing in China Basin), too”
Library Journal Starred Review of Counterfeit Road
 
“A plot that’s chock-a-block with red herrings and unexpected twists, an appealingly hard-bitten hero, and plenty of action make this solidly written police procedural a good choice for all fans of the genre”
Booklist on A Killing in China Basin
 
“After four action-packed procedurals starring California Fish and Game Warden John Marquez (Redback, 2011, etc.), Russell moves to the big city for a more traditional but equally powerful tale of crime and punishment. The plot is upstaged by the brooding characters, good and evil, the snappy rhythms of Russell’s sharply observed prose and the promise of Raveneau’s return”
Kirkus Reviews on A Killing in China Basin
 
With more twists and turns than Lombard Street, Russell’s complex plot makes for a pulse-pounding police thriller. Since I devoured all of Russell’s John Marquez (Redback) titles, I’m thrilled to meet his new protagonist in this series debut. Working the streets of SF, Raveneau brings old-school knowledge to investigations and learns a few new tricks himself
Library Journal on A Killing in China Basin
 
“Readers looking for a superbly crafted, cleverly plotted, highly suspenseful thriller with a larger-than-life hero need look no further than Redback—or, indeed, the entire John Marquez series. Outstanding!”
Booklist Starred Review of Redback
 
The tension rises as the unpredictable plot skitters and jitters along, powered by smoothly understated prose.
Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Redback

Booklist Starred Review of Redback
“Readers looking for a superbly crafted, cleverly plotted, highly suspenseful thriller with a larger-than-life hero need look no further than Redback—or, indeed, the entire John Marquez series. Outstanding!”
Booklist
"Agent John Marquez, investigator for the Special Operations Unit of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is hunting for a gang of traffickers who deal in live animals and priceless animal parts—elephant tusks, tiger skins, rare birds and snakes. All Marquez knows about the frustratingly elusive gang is that the ringleader is named Rider. So when he gets a call from someone claiming to be Rider, pointing him to a gun supposedly used in the brutal murder of two young women two years earlier, Marquez is intrigued. But how does Rider know about the gun? Is he merely leading Marquez on a merry chase to distract him from finding the animal traffickers? A feisty local sheriff, a renegade biologist, a plot to stock California’s rivers with deadly northern pike, more murders, a kidnapping, sex, and drugs all play a role in this complex but gripping story. In the hands of a less-talented writer, this multilayered, complicated plot might have fallen apart, but Russell makes it work, taunting, teasing, upsetting, and challenging the reader"
Library Journal
11/01/2013
Enigmatic and highly principled, John Marquez is no ordinary law officer. Notorious for tackling the most powerful criminals, he works undercover for the California Fish & Game's Special Operations Unit. Currently Marquez is hunting down a rogue group that is seeding the major rivers of Northern California with predatory fish (northern pike) guaranteed to decrease the populations of salmon and other native fish. Plus, he has unfinished business with high-level animal traffickers who tried to off him in the past. But his primary responsibilities are shoved aside when he is given a tip about the weapon used to kill two female environmental activists in an unsolved cold case that involved his stepdaughter. Long-standing feuds with law enforcement agencies ratchet up Marquez's vulnerability but open his eyes to how his cases might connect. VERDICT Russell's densely plotted ecomystery requires an appreciation for environmental crises. It helps to have read the four earlier titles (Redback is the most recent), but newcomers can still enjoy. Cooked at a slow simmer, the story explodes in the second half, demanding readers' full attention. For C.J. Box, Stephen Legault, and Jeanne Matthews fans.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
A nefarious plot to kill off native species is just one of the cases a California Fish and Game officer must crack. Lt. John Marquez is on the trail of Rider, a large-scale trafficker in live animals and animal parts who may be hiding in northern California or Oregon while he plies his lucrative business. An anonymous female caller offers a tip to the murders of two young women, friends of Marquez's stepdaughter, who were brutally slain near the Klamath River while campaigning for dam removal. The caller claims that the murder weapon can be found buried near the White Salmon River, where the Condit Dam is about to be blown up. The gun is found before the area is flooded, but his involvement lands Marquez in trouble with Rich Voight, a homicide investigator who deems Marquez a person of interest in the murder case, and his boss, the politically ambitious sheriff who wants him arrested to generate publicity for his re-election. When a truck carrying fingerling fish overturns near the Sacramento River, the driver dies in the hospital and the fish are identified as northern pike, a rapacious species that would kill off the native salmon and trout. Marquez has been getting calls from Hauser, a scientist who works for ENTR, a corporation he claims is secretly raising the pike in a long-term effort to control Western water supplies. But Hauser can't or won't provide evidence. Marquez puts his life in danger by refusing to back away from investigating the old murder, the well-hidden hatcheries, and the secretive, coldhearted animal trader--all cases that may have links to past and present crimes. Marquez's fifth (Redback, 2011, etc.) is chillingly descriptive and packed with suspense, secrets, violence and nonstop action.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780104515
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2013
  • Series: A John Marquez Mystery , #5
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 157,195
  • File size: 603 KB

Meet the Author

Kirk Russell lives in Berkeley, California. He is married with two daughters and is the author of the highly-acclaimed John Marquez crime series and Ben Raveneau thrillers.
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