Should an Eagle Fall
Five Star, May 19 2010, $25.95
In Lone Wolf, Texas rancher Caleb Starr sees a large bird he assumes is a hawk diving towards his chickens; he fires and kills the attacking fowl only to find he shot an endangered species a bald eagle. The incident is filmed from the air by Marsh Wheelan who works for the radical environmental group Run Free.
A computer guru, Wheelan sends a copy of a photo of Starr holding the bloody Bald eagle to the media and a national tabloid publishes it. He next hacks into government agencies placing false information about the rancher. The Feds and state agencies send law enforcement to Lone Wolf while environmentalists, politicians and newscasters publicly denounce the beleaguered rancher. As Wheelan’s fortunes rise stratospherically, Starr’s plunges dramatically. Only his neighbors support him, but even they begin to distant themselves before they become part of the smear campaign.
This is an exciting thriller of justice so blind it fails the everyman who faces the combined might of a cherry picking media, a one side fits all movement and a bureaucracy that worships databases ignoring contrary facts. Although Wheelan is miles over the top of Guadalupe Peak, this fast-paced but character driven thought provoking tale will elate readers.