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Cougar Claw

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In this outdoors mystery, special agent Sam Rivers investigates the unexplained—and very unlikely—cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner. The sighting of a cougar in the Minnesota River Valley, outside the Twin Cities, is incredibly rare. A deadly cougar attack on a human in this area is about as likely as getting struck by lightning—twice. Yet when wealthy busi In this outdoors mystery, special agent Sam Rivers investigates the unexplained—and very unlikely—cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner. The sighting of a cougar in the Minnesota River Valley, outside the Twin Cities, is incredibly rare. A deadly cougar attack on a human in this area is about as likely as getting struck by lightning—twice. Yet when wealthy business owner Jack McGregor is found dead, the physical evidence seems incontrovertible. Sheriff Rusty Benson brings in Sam Rivers, a US Fish & Wildlife (USFW) special agent and a wildlife biologist, to examine the scene and sign off on his conclusions. But Sam’s experiences have given him a penchant for understanding predators, and he has more questions than answers. Details begin to surface that challenge law enforcement’s open-and-shut case. To find justice, Sam must take matters into his own hands. He enlists the help of reporter Diane Talbott and his wolf-dog, Gray, who’s in training to become a working dog for the USFW. Gray’s nose leads the investigation in unexpected directions. The more rocks Sam turns over, the more motives for murdering McGregor seem to slither out. With no help or support from local law enforcement, Sam and his team are all that stand between justice and those who might otherwise get away with murder. Sam’s knowledge of backcountry, cougars, and the criminal mind will be put to the test, as he tries to solve the case—and stay alive. In Cougar Claw, natural history writer Cary J. Griffith brings back Sam Rivers, the predator’s predator, and pens a puzzling mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.


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In this outdoors mystery, special agent Sam Rivers investigates the unexplained—and very unlikely—cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner. The sighting of a cougar in the Minnesota River Valley, outside the Twin Cities, is incredibly rare. A deadly cougar attack on a human in this area is about as likely as getting struck by lightning—twice. Yet when wealthy busi In this outdoors mystery, special agent Sam Rivers investigates the unexplained—and very unlikely—cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner. The sighting of a cougar in the Minnesota River Valley, outside the Twin Cities, is incredibly rare. A deadly cougar attack on a human in this area is about as likely as getting struck by lightning—twice. Yet when wealthy business owner Jack McGregor is found dead, the physical evidence seems incontrovertible. Sheriff Rusty Benson brings in Sam Rivers, a US Fish & Wildlife (USFW) special agent and a wildlife biologist, to examine the scene and sign off on his conclusions. But Sam’s experiences have given him a penchant for understanding predators, and he has more questions than answers. Details begin to surface that challenge law enforcement’s open-and-shut case. To find justice, Sam must take matters into his own hands. He enlists the help of reporter Diane Talbott and his wolf-dog, Gray, who’s in training to become a working dog for the USFW. Gray’s nose leads the investigation in unexpected directions. The more rocks Sam turns over, the more motives for murdering McGregor seem to slither out. With no help or support from local law enforcement, Sam and his team are all that stand between justice and those who might otherwise get away with murder. Sam’s knowledge of backcountry, cougars, and the criminal mind will be put to the test, as he tries to solve the case—and stay alive. In Cougar Claw, natural history writer Cary J. Griffith brings back Sam Rivers, the predator’s predator, and pens a puzzling mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.

53 review for Cougar Claw

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alaina Maxam

    THIS WAS DEFINITELY A GOOD MYSTERY. IT KEEPS YOU GUESSING TO THE VERY END. I KEPT TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT AND WAS WRONG EACH TIME I THOUGHT I FIGURED IT OUT. OUTSTANDING WRITING

  2. 5 out of 5

    First Clue

    This is one of those thrillers that opens with a full view of the crime—in this case, two men ambushing a Savage, Minnesota CEO and attacking him with real cougar claws and teeth. There was recently a sighting of one of the big cats in the area, so it’s easy for investigators to believe the businessman became a meal. The local sheriff who’s running for re-election has no objection to chalking the death up to wildlife rather than crime stats….but then Sam Rivers shows up to complicate his life. S This is one of those thrillers that opens with a full view of the crime—in this case, two men ambushing a Savage, Minnesota CEO and attacking him with real cougar claws and teeth. There was recently a sighting of one of the big cats in the area, so it’s easy for investigators to believe the businessman became a meal. The local sheriff who’s running for re-election has no objection to chalking the death up to wildlife rather than crime stats….but then Sam Rivers shows up to complicate his life. Sam, special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn’t care for bureaucracy or the sheriff, and persists in finding out what’s behind this event that looks suspicious to his expert eye. Just what looks off to Sam will teach readers about things like the structure of all cats’ paws, which parts of a person a cougar would eat, what one of the creature’s teeth embedded in a person’s spine should look like, and other juicy tidbits. In the human world that Sam deals with somewhat reluctantly, things are more complicated, as his investigation is a tangled web of an about-to-be-very-rich widow, her nosy neighbor, a journalist who’s also Sam’s love interest, and always that blustery sheriff. Sam Rivers is akin to Emily Littlejohn’s character Gemma Monroe—a likable, steadfast investigator whose work takes readers into the outdoors and the crimes it hides. He’s a character worth getting to know.—Henrietta Verma, First Clue For more reviews of crime fiction, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, First Clue: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/First...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    A most worthy entry into the Sam Rivers mystery series, Cougar Claw has the USFW agent using his skills and knowledge of wild animal behavior to uncover a dastardly plot in a small town just outside of Minneapolis - pinning a murder rap on a wild cougar. Sam's likable personality, intelligence, perseverance, and dedication to justice are complemented by his allies - a young wolf/dog hybrid named Gray and his on-and-off again girlfriend Diane. Colorful characters like the outspoken and politicall A most worthy entry into the Sam Rivers mystery series, Cougar Claw has the USFW agent using his skills and knowledge of wild animal behavior to uncover a dastardly plot in a small town just outside of Minneapolis - pinning a murder rap on a wild cougar. Sam's likable personality, intelligence, perseverance, and dedication to justice are complemented by his allies - a young wolf/dog hybrid named Gray and his on-and-off again girlfriend Diane. Colorful characters like the outspoken and politically motivated sheriff and a none-too-bright tennis pro add interest. Highly recommended, especially for those who love mysteries with Minnesota settings and the natural world. Can't wait for the next Sam Rivers story!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I was lucky enough to win this book from here. It is an amazing book. My first peek into Sam Rivers' life. He and his work are fascinating to read about, with just enough things about him to make him real, but not enough to detract from the story. What a terrible thing to do, framing a young cougar for murder, and then shooting him. But in the end, Sam Rivers proved the big cat's innocence, (and found the real killers). I will be buying the first book in this series, and any others that come along. I r I was lucky enough to win this book from here. It is an amazing book. My first peek into Sam Rivers' life. He and his work are fascinating to read about, with just enough things about him to make him real, but not enough to detract from the story. What a terrible thing to do, framing a young cougar for murder, and then shooting him. But in the end, Sam Rivers proved the big cat's innocence, (and found the real killers). I will be buying the first book in this series, and any others that come along. I recommend this book for anyone who has lived, does live or plans to live, near or in the "wilderness". In whatever state, they may be in.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Derek Moore

    This is a very well written mystery about a cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner in the Minnesota River Valley. Sam Rivers a US Fish and Wildlife agent is brought in to investigate. Reporter Diane Talbot and Sam's wolf dog are also on the case. We learn about the predatory habits of cougars. This is a fascinating and suspenseful book with many twists and turns. The readers will find this book to be an easy read that may keep some up all night guessing the outcome. This is definitel This is a very well written mystery about a cougar attack that killed a wealthy business owner in the Minnesota River Valley. Sam Rivers a US Fish and Wildlife agent is brought in to investigate. Reporter Diane Talbot and Sam's wolf dog are also on the case. We learn about the predatory habits of cougars. This is a fascinating and suspenseful book with many twists and turns. The readers will find this book to be an easy read that may keep some up all night guessing the outcome. This is definitely a page turner and a must read for armchair mystery lovers. Thank you for the opportunity of receiving this book. I have already passed it on.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    I received an advanced reader's copy of "Cougar Claw", a standalone follow-up to "Wolf Kill", as a result of a Goodreads giveaway. From the first chapter I was hooked and now I want to read "Wolf Kill" too! Of course the fact that the mystery takes place in my home state of Minnesota didn't hurt anything. Sam Rivers is biologist and special agent to the US Fish and Wildlife. The murder of Jack McGregor happens in the first chapter and it is blamed on a cougar attack. Sam and his team work to dis I received an advanced reader's copy of "Cougar Claw", a standalone follow-up to "Wolf Kill", as a result of a Goodreads giveaway. From the first chapter I was hooked and now I want to read "Wolf Kill" too! Of course the fact that the mystery takes place in my home state of Minnesota didn't hurt anything. Sam Rivers is biologist and special agent to the US Fish and Wildlife. The murder of Jack McGregor happens in the first chapter and it is blamed on a cougar attack. Sam and his team work to discover and prove what really happened and there are numerous suspects.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joseph B. Hoyos

    “Cougar Claw” is an excellent outdoor mystery—a superb sequel in a series that has great potential. Please see my full review at Gumshoe: http://www.gumshoereview.com/php/Revi... and at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cougar-Claw-Ri... “Cougar Claw” is an excellent outdoor mystery—a superb sequel in a series that has great potential. Please see my full review at Gumshoe: http://www.gumshoereview.com/php/Revi... and at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cougar-Claw-Ri...

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Hurst

    Clever plot, easy read. I was familiar with Twin Cities area, but learned a good deal about the large, wild area around Savage. I would guess there are many deer in that area, but not many cougars! I'll likely read other books by this author. Clever plot, easy read. I was familiar with Twin Cities area, but learned a good deal about the large, wild area around Savage. I would guess there are many deer in that area, but not many cougars! I'll likely read other books by this author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve Woody

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Alexander

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve Jean

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jimi Alan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Britt Sexton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Pipp

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chad Wittner

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lorann Singmaster

  21. 5 out of 5

    george panagiotu

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Roberts

  23. 4 out of 5

    TimK

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ekholm

  25. 4 out of 5

    philip astle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  27. 4 out of 5

    chris g griesedieck

  28. 5 out of 5

    John A

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Norbury

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neilee Thorstenson

  31. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Strehlow

  32. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Niven

  33. 5 out of 5

    Lena

  34. 5 out of 5

    Allison Bernard

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kari

  36. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Watson

  37. 5 out of 5

    Naffy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Debra Hicks

  39. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

  40. 5 out of 5

    Angela DeSilva

  41. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Hughes

  42. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Ball

  43. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  44. 4 out of 5

    Melida007

  45. 4 out of 5

    Alandrea

  46. 5 out of 5

    Inés Molina

  47. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Dishman

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kwa Hill

  49. 5 out of 5

    Sakura-Chan

  50. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  51. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  52. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Galactic

  53. 5 out of 5

    Zion Fellowes

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