Mexican Hat 1997
Kevin Kerney, ex-Santa Fe chief of detectives and ex-rancher is working as a seasonal forest ranger in the Gila Wilderness and banking his pay toward the down payment on a small ranch. Despite the county militia's planting pipe bombs on hiking trails, Kerney looks forward to a quiet summer in the high mountains. But the poaching of wildlife, the murder of a Mexican tourist, and the discovery of a disoriented old man in the wilderness thrust Kerney into an investigation that accelerates dangerously to a heart-stopping final confrontation.
Frustrated by the ineptness of the local sheriff and bureaucratic roadblocks within the Forest Service, Kerney teams up with Jim Stiles, a young, energetic state game and fish officer. Together Kerney and Stiles begin an investigation that takes them back in time to a sixty-year-old feud between two land-rich brothers, Edgar and Eugene Cox, and its possible connection with the death of an Hispanic rancher, and into the present-day intrigue of the paramilitary militia movement sweeping the country. The investigation leads Kerney to question the motives of new assistant district attorney Karen Cox, Edgar's daughter, who may be more interested in shielding her father than in solving the crimes. As the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, someone keeps trying to kill Kerney. And soon Karen must choose between protecting her father's long-buried secret or joining Kerney in a battle for their lives and the truth.