Lethal Intent

Featured in Warden Force Season 3

Audiobook on Audible

It would have taken a keen eye to spot the homemade pipe bomb lashed about knee-high on the trunk of a small oak tree. Keener vision still would have been required to detect the monofilament trip-wire stretched ankle-high across a trail adjacent to the oak. This was unfortunate for Lance Troy Lomas, whose dope-clouded vision was definitely not up to either task.

Night was approaching, and darkness came early in the narrow, upper reaches of Butte Creek Canyon. Lomas, however, was in no hurry. As with most days of his life, he was looking to steal something, and darkness usually worked in his favor. The fact that his probable victim on this day would be a pot-growing criminal much like himself made no difference, for there was little honor among his breed of thieves.

He crept along through the oak forest, on a trail above the river. All was silent but for the soft murmur of moving water below. Upon reaching a cross trail leading upslope to several ramshackle buildings, he made the turn. He had gone but a few steps when he felt his foot contact the trip wire.

His next conscious thought occurred a day later in a Chico hospital. The blast blew his hat 30 feet, shattered his left leg, blew out his left eardrum, and sent jagged shards of hot steel into various parts of his body. He fell bleeding and unconscious beside the trail.

A few days later, reliable sources in the upper canyon contacted the Department of Fish and Game with chilling news: The bomb had been intended for Warden Will Bishop.

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