(from the book jacket)
Hank Eston is thirty-five and independent. A self-employed, all-purpose handyman, he looks after his uncle’s cattle and several-hundred-acre ranch in the eastern foothills of the Rockies. He’s not the type you would pick up hitchhiking – and he wouldn’t expect you to. But a former lover, Sue Fenton, doesn’t hesitate to call him when her latest companion, Bill Evans, dies from causes undetermined after what appears to have been a severe beating. With mixed feelings, Eston agrees to look around, and ask some questions.
In recent months Bill had become involved in holistic health therapy with Sue, and at the same time he suddenly embraced a new religion. These changes, however, seem anything but consistent with his resent mysterious activities with some “old friends.” Eston initially suspects that they belong to a highly organized ring of poachers. But when parts of mutilated mule deer turn up, and someone stages a nearly successful attempt on Hank’s life, it is clear that much more going on.
There is another death, and the mystery deepens. When Hank concludes that the ultimate answers lie beyond the framework of western culture, he turns to his friend Brian Kells – Orientalist, doctrinaire Zen Buddhist, teacher of Eastern philosophies and martial arts. In the ensuing fast and violent clash between western laws and Oriental theories and practices, the two form a formidable pair.