The Rossi family received only a handful of letters after their son shipped out on the supertanker Aurora Victorious. The first dispatches were from Harold himself, describing the blend of tedium and excitement that defined life onboard the ship. The last communication came from the ship's owners: four brief sentences informing them that their son had died and been buried at sea.
Pressure is rising at Colorado's Squaw Point Reservation, and the area is about to explode. After a federal agent is murdered and several park rangers are attacked, a mess of federal agencies descends on the area, hopelessly muddying the situation. To put a local face on the investigation, the FBI recruits Denver homicide detective Gabe Wager.
There was a time in Denver when a child’s murder was a tragedy, but now that gangs have taken hold of the city, teenage deaths are sickeningly routine. As far as homicide detective Gabriel Wager can tell, the latest victim, a thirteen-year-old boy, was a good kid, with no affiliation to any local gang. But in gangland, even innocents have a way of becoming targets. As he tries to unravel the dual mystery, Wager finds himself deep in a callous world, where even children can be killers.
The fire department finds her in the closet, knees clutched to her chest, body charred beyond recognition. At first they can’t even tell that the corpse was a woman. Although the death appears accidental, they call in homicide detective Gabe Wager to make sure. Forensics identifies her as Pauline Tillotson, an FBI informant working from inside an environmentalist group with terrorist leanings. Her cover had been blown, and the extremists killed her to protect a sinister plan to annihilate Denver.
When he was a teenager, Gabe Wager and his friends in the Denver barrio had no greater idol than Vaquero Tommy Sanchez. One of the rare Mexicans to break through into professional rodeo, Sanchez was a hero to every Hispanic boy with dreams of making it in a white man’s world. By the time Sanchez’s star faded, Wager was away with the Marine Corps, enduring terrors but supported by his memories of hot, dusty rodeo days.
Wager hunts for the killer of a black councilman, as the city threatens to riotGabe’s girlfriend Jo is drowning. She stares up at him, eyes wide with terror, as he fights to grab her hand. In a moment, the frothing river swallows her up, and Jo is gone.Nine months have passed since Jo’s death, and Detective Wager cannot get the image out of his mind. Rather than fight the urge to blame himself, he embraces the guilt, punishing himself for it every day.
The seemingly motiveless and unconnected slayings of two strip-tease dancers lead Gabe Wager into the seedy underworld of the city where topless bars, all-night restaurants, and a furtive street life are the rule. Gabe decides to tackle the case on his own and disguises himself as a drug dealer to penetrate this underworld and its secrets. As Wager becomes immersed in the subculture, he finds he has also become a target for the murderer.
An unidentified body points Wager to a radical religious sect. A year ago, homicide detective Gabe Wager had a man killed. Though Wager feels no guilt at doing away with an evil man, his partner, Max Axton, is disgusted, and has hardly spoken to him for a year. Now Wager and Axton have to work together to solve a baffling crime that takes them to the border of Colorado - and the limits of human faith.
For six months, the Denver narcotics team and the DEA have built a case against a cocaine-dealing heavy named Farnsworth. When Detective Reitman makes the final buy, he runs a field test to make sure the package of powder he’s just purchased is really cocaine. The test is positive, and the bust goes down. Afterwards, the DEA’s lab says that Reitman was wrong - he’d just bought two and a half pounds of harmless, legal lactose. The case is thrown out, Reitman is busted down to uniform work, and Gabe Wager has to pick up the pieces.
A year ago, Marco Scorvelli was murdered while picking up his morning paper. A sawed-off shotgun put a hole in his stomach, and streaked the inside of his sports coat with the mob boss’ innards. As Scorvelli crawled toward his front door, the killer left the shotgun angled neatly on the sidewalk. No prints were recovered, and no headway was ever made on the case. Now a reliable underworld source passes a message to homicide detective Gabe Wager. The killing wasn’t ordered by a rival family, but by Scorvelli’s brother, in an attempt to take control of the organization.
Homicide cops are always suspicious of the drug enforcement division, so when ex-narcotics detective Gabe Wager arrives on the murder squad, his first assignment is the graveyard shift. His new commanding officer hopes that the late shift will keep Wager out of trouble, and give him a chance to learn the byzantine regulations that govern murder investigations. But two days later, a call comes in just after dawn reporting a death at Denver’s botanic gardens.
Detective Gabriel Wager of the Denver Police Department investigates the Rare Things Import Shop because of a tip that it was a front for marijuana smugglers who were supposedly smuggling the weed in at the rate of five-hundred to a thousand pounds a week. Alvarez was professional--and slippery. And Wager, working with a new partner, Detective Denby, wasn't finding that very easy, either.
Sabotage threatens the profits of industrial giant McAllister Enterprises. Twice already, accounting errors have forced the company to drop out of $100 million deals, and both times a competing firm, the Aegis Group, swooped in to take over. The CEO suspects industrial espionage, and the obvious suspect is division director Austin Haas, who declined a job offer from Aegis six months ago but may be working for them from the inside. Before firing Haas, the CEO wants to be sure. In this industry, when you want to be sure, you call Devlin Kirk.
Devlin Kirk and his partner Bunchcroft are Denver’s finest industrial security experts, even if Denver doesn’t see it that way. Their last big case got them out of debt, but since then the well has been dry. Their firm is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy when Nestor Calamaro, a young illegal immigrant whose family is close to Bunch, disappears. Kirk can’t afford any pro bono work, but Bunch talks him into the good deed. Missing persons cases are usually simple. This one is not.
Kirk watches nervously as a new employee goes undercover with a drug ring. The employees at the Advantage Company have started to steal. They are angrier than they used to be, and also clumsier - accident reports have spiked. To Devlin Kirk, these are telltale signs of on-the-job drug abuse. Hired by Advantage to smash the drug ring that’s sprung up inside its factory, Kirk sends his newest employee, earnest farm boy Chris Newman, to infiltrate the company.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Steele is too honest for Washington. If any other Marine Corps investigator had noticed a congressman’s corruption, he might have kept his mouth shut. But Steele knows his ultimate duty and blows the whistle on a treasonous lawmaker, earning himself a pat on the back and a swift kick out the door. Steele returns to his hometown of San Diego, hoping for a quiet retirement. Instead he finds a chilling mystery that will make him question everything about the country he spent so long trying to protect.
Targeted by thugs, a wrestling impresario reaches out to an old friend. When Otto Lidke got a tryout in pro football, he hired a lawyer friend named Jim Raiford to handle his contract. The negotiations were bungled, forcing both men into a career change. Trying to start a pro wrestling circuit in Denver, Lidke runs afoul of the national federation, which does everything it can - legal and otherwise - to stamp out his new venture.
More fables about the lives of the Frogs of Sawhill Ponds. Benjamin Froglin, Dr. Sigmund Frog, and others return to comment with insight and humor on the issues - serious and light - faced by the pond's inhabitants. As with Volume 1, the tales are addressed to children and adults in order to generate thought and raise questions
In the tradition of Aesop's Fables, The Frogs of Sawhill Ponds are tales for children with mature questions and adults who have not forgotten childhood. Play with ideas and language offers delightful surprise as well as insight into the human condition. Sometimes the listener will not know whether to laugh, cry, or do both; other tales offer witty fun. Those who enjoy Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, or The Little Prince, will enjoy Frog Tales.