Blood Trail

[Amazon Link]

Number eight in C. J. Box's "Joe Pickett" series. Publisher's Weekly deemed it "disappointing" (on the Amazon page) but it's unclear whether they were simply put off by the audiobook's narrator. I don't need to go the audiobook route just yet, and the Kindle version was just fine.

As is clear from Chapter One, Box is putting his spin on the hunter-becomes-the-hunted genre. Although the hunter in that chapter doesn't really stand a chance, getting dropped by his stalker just as he's getting a bead on an impressive elk.

Impressive/horrifying embellishment: the murderer not only shoots human prey, but also does the skinning/gutting/beheading thing as well. (What happens to the head? Well, just keep reading.)

Joe Pickett is still the offbeat Wyoming governor's special investigator, and he's called in when it develops that this latest killing is just one in a series. In addition to finding the killer, Joe has to deal with (as usual) the incompetence/treachery of folks ostensibly on the side of the good guys. Added to the mix: an anti-hunting activist who uses the murder to drop into Joe's community and raise some ruckus. Could he be connected somehow?

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I see Alex O'Loughlin, the guy who plays McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O, as Joe Pickett in the miniseries. You saw it here first, unless you saw it somewhere else first.