When the Killing's Done
By T. Coraghessan Boyle
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143120391, 369pp.)
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
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Principally set on the wild Channel Islands off the coast of California, T.C. Boyle's new novel is a gripping adventure with a timely theme. Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist spearheading the efforts to save the islands' native creatures from invasive species. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a local businessman who is fiercely opposed to the killing of any animals whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert her plans. As their confrontation plays out in a series of scenes escalating in violence, drama, and danger, "When the Killing's Done" relates a richly humane tale about the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world.