In this outdoors mystery, special agent Sam Rivers investigates the unexplained--and very unlikely--cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner.
The sighting of a cougar in the Minnesota River Valley, outside the Twin Cities, is incredibly rare. A deadly cougar attack on a human in this area is about as likely as getting struck by lightning--twice. Yet when wealthy business owner Jack McGregor is found dead, the physical evidence seems incontrovertible.
Sheriff Rusty Benson brings in Sam Rivers, a US Fish & Wildlife (USFW) special agent and a wildlife biologist, to examine the scene and sign off on his conclusions. But Sam's experiences have given him a penchant for understanding predators, and he has more questions than answers.
Details begin to surface that challenge law enforcement's open-and-shut case. To find justice, Sam must take matters into his own hands. He enlists the help of reporter Diane Talbott and his wolf-dog, Gray, who's in training to become a working dog for the USFW. Gray's nose leads the investigation in unexpected directions. The more rocks Sam turns over, the more motives for murdering McGregor seem to slither out.
With no help or support from local law enforcement, Sam and his team are all that stand between justice and those who might otherwise get away with murder. Sam's knowledge of backcountry, cougars, and the criminal mind will be put to the test, as he tries to solve the case--and stay alive.
In Cougar Claw, natural history writer Cary J. Griffith brings back Sam Rivers, the predator's predator, and pens a puzzling mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.
Award-winning author Cary J. Griffith grew up among the woods, fields, and emerald waters of eastern Iowa. His childhood fostered a lifelong love of wild places. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa and an M.A. in library science from the University of Minnesota. Griffith's books explore the natural world. In nonfiction, he covers the borderlands between civilization and wild places. In fiction, he focuses on the ways some people use flora and fauna to commit crimes, while others with more reverence and understanding of the natural world leverage their knowledge to bring criminals to justice. In both genres, readers are likely to learn something about our relationship to the natural world and the creatures who inhabit it. "I was 14 the first time I visited the lakes and boreal forests of northeastern Minnesota," says Griffith, "and its beauty struck me." Griffith is also the author of Wolf Kill, Gunflint Burning, Lost in the Wild, and Opening Goliath. He lives with his family in a suburb of Minnesota's Twin Cities.