The wolf pack is on the prowl. Cavanaugh and Cascade County Sheriff Clayton Tweedy are the prey. Third generation rancher Wade Barksdale leads the pack of far right militia. Blinded by grief, Barksdale blames Tweedy and Cavanaugh for the death of his only son, Wesley, shot down in a drug bust gone awry.
Barksdale is running for governor. He vows to split the state in two. Create the "Liberty State," a new homeland for patriots. To bribe his cabal of corrupt legislators, judges and county commissioners, Barksdale strikes a faustian bargain with la reina, the queen, leader of the El Jaguar cartel. The new killer fentanyl is cutting a deep, ugly gash through hamlets, bergs and big cities, bleeding an epidemic of crime and sorrow. To Cavanaugh, the suffering, tragedies and overdose deaths, are like an emergence of swarming insects covering the riverscape in a "Deadly Hatch". Dirty money, deadly drugs and despotic corruption - there'll be the devil to pay before it's finished.