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Excerpt from RATTLESNAKE BROTHER by Paty Jager

Gabriel Hawke returns in his third novel . . .


Corrupt officials.

Illegal hunters.

Death to those who dare complain.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke encounters a hunter with an illegal tag. The name on the tag belongs to the Wallowa County District Attorney and the man holding the tag isn’t the public defender.

As Hawke digs to find out if the DA is corrupt, the hunter’s body is found. Zeroing in on the DA, Hawke finds he has more suspects than the DA and more deaths than the hunter.

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In the author's words . . .

The Gabriel Hawke books are challenging and fun to write. The challenge is learning new occupations, finding interesting ways someone could die, and coming up with red herrings to throw the reader off the scent of the real killer. I think that is the most fun about writing any mystery.

I have what I call a suspect chart. It's a chart with the names of people who could have murdered the victim along with why and when. I use this as my jumping off point to start the story rolling. Each character is introduced to the story and the reader discovers why that person might have killed the victim. Then I weave in the possibilities of how and mislead a bit with the clues. Some books, I'll get three-quarters of the way through and discover who I had initially thought did it, couldn't have and another character is the killer. When I go back to make sure clues are placed to make that person be the killer, I discover I'd subconsciously added them in! I love when that happens!

Having a character of Native American decent, I have to work on using wording that I hope evokes his sense of nurturing for nature and the land he protects as well as his thoughts and interpretations of the world and people around him.

All of these challenges are what keep me writing and hoping I can not only learns something but that my readers, while being entertained, also learn something from the story.

Enjoy a sneak peek from Rattlesnake Brother

by Paty Jager

Two large objects wrapped in brown sacking hung in a pine tree twenty feet off the dirt road. Two bull elk heads leaned against the base of the tree. A lone camp trailer, closed up as if no one were there, sat thirty feet from the pine with a fire pit between the camp trailer and hanging carcasses. There wasn’t a vehicle in sight.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke stopped his vehicle. He started to type the trailer’s license plate number into his computer. No signal. His right hand settled on his radio mic at his left shoulder. “Dispatch. This is Hawke. I’m about five miles from Coyote Springs on Forest Service Road forty-eight-sixty.”


“I have a lone camp trailer and two elk hanging in a tree. Trailer license is Oregon …” He called in the number and scanned the area waiting for the dispatcher’s reply.

“The trailer belongs to Duane Sigler of Eagle, Oregon.”

Sigler. The man had a penchant for poaching. “Copy.”

Hawke turned off his vehicle and stepped out, putting his cap on his head. He tucked his head down in the fur-lined collar of his coat. The first of November in Wallowa County always had a bite in the air. At this elevation, three inches of snow covered the ground.

No one appeared to be in the camp trailer. There wasn’t the hiss of a propane furnace. No sound, no movement. He knocked on the door just in case someone was sleeping.

No answer.

He scanned the area. Two folding chairs leaned up against the trailer. Two elk, two people, that was okay. But then why were they out driving around if they’d already filled their tags?

The antlers were a three-point and a four-point. Either one would make a nice trophy of the hunt on a wall.

Hawke walked over. There were tags tied to the base of the antlers. Just as required. That was a good sign, considering one of the hunters liked to not play by the hunting rules.

He untied the string around one tag and opened it. The month and date hadn’t been notched out. Not a good sign. He glanced at the name on the tag. Duane Sigler. That matched the trailer license. He tied that tag back on and untied the other one.

Again, the tag wasn’t notched out. Benjamin Lange. Hawke stared at the name. The county district attorney wouldn’t be hunting with a known poacher, would he? It could be someone with the same name.

A glance at the address and he was pretty sure it was the district attorney. The D.A. lived on the west side of Wallowa Lake and that was the address listed.

Hawke replaced the tag and decided he’d wait for the hunters to return.

End of Excerpt

Copyright © by Paty Jager

Learn more by visiting the author's website. RATTLESNAKE BROTHER released April 21, 2019.

Meet the Author

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 40 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.This is what Books a Plenty Book Reviews has to say about the Gabriel Hawke series: "The blend of nature tracking, clues, and the animals makes for a fascinating mystery that is hard to put down."

Visit Paty's Website

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Rattlesnake Brother by Paty Jager

Genre: Murder Mystery/Police Procedural/Native American

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 1

Language Level: 2

Violence Level: 3

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