BAD MOON OVER ALPINE
High above timberline on the Colorado Continental Divide, two drug dealers celebrate a successful business trip to Gunnison. High on nothing but mutual overdoses of adrenaline, they race their souped-up four-wheel vehicles over a minimal animal trail through layers of clouds until the older druggy intentionally rams his younger partner off a high cliff into eternity.
Weeks later, Gordy Tyler, who is mourning the loss of his wife in a car wreck, decides that alcahol-sodden weekend fishing parties at Lake Texoma are not helping his depression. Gordy drives 800 miles solo to reunite with his childhood and Marine Corps best friend, Charlie Holoman, the Police Chief in Alpine, to dampen his grief. At a restaurant, Charlie and Gordy meet Officer Beth Brennan, who is quite beautiful despite her garish hairdo. When introduced, neither Beth nor Gordy are attracted to the other.
Late the next night at a basement nightclub, Beth is duped into competing in a quixotic “Wish That I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” dance competition. Wildly applauded, Beth is then picked up by the wall-to-wall crowd of happy drunks, passed overhead, and deposited in front of Gordy and his friend’s table. Later, Beth drives Gordy to her home and apparently has her way with him, or vice versa. “What happens in Alpine stays in Alpine.”
Charlie is stymied by six fatal “accidents” in the mountains around Alpine, and pressed by the media to solve these emerging murders quickly. One suspect is Al Brennan, Beth’s brother, who is a professional photographer. Evidence found at murder sites implicates a professional photographer, but which one. Gordy and Cecil, a bartender, search the surrounding mountains, witness a murder in deep shadows at sundown, and chase the unidentified murderer to a ghost town at night under an uncommon “Bad Moon” (i.e., an unusual full moon that appears twice in a single month, and is considered by some to be an omen of bad luck). Then this story gets really exciting.