Retired lawman Wendelboe's second tale of an introspective Depression-era U.S. Marshal trying to keep the peace in Wyoming.
Nelson Lane (The Marshal and the Moonshiner, 2018) isn't much interested in catching bootleggers or foreclosing on ranchers down on their luck. But he does agree to look for a missing man at the behest of his friend Yancy Stands Close. Yancy's current squeeze, Sally Maddis, has misplaced her brother, Jesse, a freelance journalist who went to the Mystical Mountain Hunting Lodge in search of a story. The lodge, which provides prime hunting parties for rich and famous men from movie stars to gangsters, could presumably supply plenty of fodder for a muckraker like Jesse. Lane's attempt to interview manager Weston Myers is disrupted by lodge security, a nasty group of toughs that includes May Doherty, who admits tossing Jesse off the property but claims not to have seen him since. Sally reveals that she works up at the lodge almost every weekend entertaining wealthy men who have little interest in hunting and fishing. Although fearful of flying, Lane gets Henry Banks to take him up in his plane so he can search the property for Jesse. Sure enough, he spots Jesse's jacket and, after landing, finds his badly beaten body and picks up a few rolls of film before security shows up. When Weston arrives, he seems shocked to see the body. Sheriff Clements enjoys so many perks from Weston that he has zero interest in helping Lane, who must also contend with Dan Dan Uster, a wanted killer hiding on the property. The discovery that several women have been murdered and buried on the property prompts Lane to risk his life and that of his deputy, who poses as a good-time girl, and uncover the truth.
Thrills aplenty as the cunning Marshal displays the survival skills he learned in the trenches of the Great War.