First Sentence: Three hours after he'd broken camp, repacked, and pushed his horses higher into the mountain range, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett paused on the lip of a wide hollow basin and dug in his saddlebag for his notebook.
Game Warden Joe Pickett is making the last pass before going home through the territory he has been covering for the past year. He's following up on reports of vandalism and other hunter's game butchered out. He doesn't expect to run into twin brothers who resent being asked to follow the rules and nearly cost Joe his life. He also doesn't expect the only reason he escapes is a woman who may have been an Olympic contender but disappeared. His determination to enforce the law and to possibly rescue the woman sends Joe, with his friend Nate, back into the mountains and an old-West showdown.
Box writes books that are entertaining, exciting and occasionally touching. He also writes book that make you think about the bigger issues and does it in such a way that doesn't preach or become didactic, but makes you weigh both sides of the question and make your own choice. That is a real talent.
The character of Joe Pickett is one of an average man; very human, married, loves his family, loyal to his friends. He learns he is not invincible, but believes in his job even it's dangerous and, perhaps, not smart..."It's my job. I do my job." Even his wife, Marybeth, acknowledges his job is who he is..."You do what you do because you're hardwired for it. You get yourself into situations because you have a certain set of standards..." That relationship and those principles give Joe the structure that defines him.
The interaction between Joe and the other characters is believable, and occasionally humorous. In this book, Box has given Joe two very challenging enemies; both in terms of surviving against them, but opposition of views on issues that are very timely.
One thing, of which I am becoming very tired, is the overuse by authors of the ignorant, obstructive, jealous superior official. Yes, I know it all-too-often exists, but it has become rather cliché.
The pacing is wonderful; it fluctuates between tension and rest. Box's descriptions demonstrate his knowledge and love of Wyoming, and shares that with us by taking us along and letting us see what Joe sees, both in terms of its beauty and potential danger. The dialogue has a natural flow and refreshingly little profanity.
This is a very good story. I became so involved, it was a one-sitting read for me and I am now anxious for the next book.
NOWHERE TO RUN (Lic. Inv-Joe Pickett-Wyoming-Cont)- VG
Box, C.J. - 10th in series
Putnam, ©2010, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9780399156458
on 27 December 2011
Another wonderful book from C. J. Box about an ordinary,moral ,responsible guy in a poorly paid difficult job. The surroundings and job itself ,being a game warden, are what keeps him here. That and the support of his loving wife and 2 daughters & foster daughter. His trouble making money hungry mother in law is the big domestic thorn in his side. Work wise it is an overbearing top heavy government department management structure with political in-fighting. This time, due to return home after being side lined for a year, he makes a last investigation into a complaint, and ends up in grave danger , with no support or help. Then his friend Nate turns up, & they set off to get to the bottom of things once and for all, knowing they may not make it back. The tension mounts all along, and the ending is superb, & not expected. Are the bad guys really the bad guys, are there others, & who is best served by the outcome.? A thoroughly great book. I have read as many of these as were available, & am off to check if there are any new ones.
on 5 February 2013
What can I say about C.J. Box and Joe Picket that I haven't said before? Nowhere to Run is No 10 in the Joe Picket series and it totally knocks your boots off. We have watched Joe Picket change over the years from an honest upstanding game warden who would rather cut off his right arm than break the law to become an honest upstanding game warden who has had to kill people in the line of duty. He has become hardened and with that hardening comes conflicts of conscience as he struggles with doing the right thing as opposed to up-holding the law that he has sworn to do.
Joe is still in the wilderness, literally, after his last outing, but his banishment from his re-extended family to Baggs, was about to be over with his reassignment to Twelve Sleep County and home.
All he needed to do was set out and complete one final check of the district around Baggs on horseback, to investigate the case of the missing and butchered elk, or, he could have just finished some paperwork......
Part of me was mouthing, `do the paperwork Joe, go home to Marybeth and the girls...' but then I knew that was impractical and it wouldn't make for compelling reading. So, Joe riding Buddy with Blue Roanie trailing with his equipment sets off into the Sierra Madre of Southern Wyoming and as usual all hell breaks loose.
Joe Pickett is one stubborn man. If he come across someone hunting or fishing it doesn't matter to him as long as they have the correct permits and they have those permits on them, if they don't, they get a ticket, end off, no discussion.
Maybe if Joe hadn't been so stubborn when he came across a strange looking guy in the mountains who was fishing in a cirque, and after telling himself that the guy was strange and `threatening' and if he wasn't so stubborn, he might just have kept riding on bye, telling the guy to get a permit as soon as he got back to town...
But Joe was stubborn and sworn to uphold the law and he just couldn't let it go....
Joe loses everything, his horses, his gear, his guns and his dignity and only barely manages to escape with his life after discovering that there was not one `strange and threatening' guy, but two, identical twins and they don't want no government man interfering in their simple way of life.
Having followed Joe's exploits over the years you feel so helpless at seeing him so powerless and hating the brothers for what they are doing to him. You find yourself fearing that Marybeth and the girls are going to be left to cope on their own and we have finally reached the end of the trail with Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden, who after all these years can still barely hit the side of a tree with his Glock handgun; cursing at him for never getting better with it, relying on the spray of his shotgun, which he has lost...
The brothers are the archetypical anti-heroes, nasty and mean without one redeeming feature and you find yourself despising them throughout but , Mr Box has one or two surprises left in store for us and as you quickly turn the pages trying to keep up with the pace of the story as it unfolds over 10 days in late summer, you find that your sympathies are stretched to breaking point, and may well shift., as the climax explodes on to the pages in the most unexpected of ways ..... You will not be disappointed.
Nowhere to Run, has all the usual suspects coming in and out Nate Romanowski, who finds his loyalties tested. Governor Rulon who is giving Joe back his life but as usual, Joe's honesty and integrity finds the Governor wishing that he could find an even remoter out post to lose Joe in. and FBI Special Agent Coon finds his cohunes. Marybeth is in trouble with the girls growing up; Sheridan is now 18, sheesh I remember when she was just a baby, it seems like yesterday and Lucy and the newly reunited April Keeley back into the family wasn't exactly the bed of roses everyone thought it was going to be and of course Missy Alden, ne Van Bruen, nee, nee, nee, Marybeth's mother who kept trading up for richer and more powerful husbands is here too annoying every one. Box also throws in some humour too, to lighten the mood from time to time. Dave Farkus `Shut up Dave' doesn't get tired, although if I was one of the 4 men in black I would probably have shot him after the first stupid sentence out of his mouth, but then I suppose I wouldn't have laughed every time he appeared and that's why Mr Box writes and I don't ....
Book 1 - Open Season √
Book 2 - Savage Run √
Book 3 - Winterkill √
Book 4 - Trophy Hunt √
Book 5 - Out of Range √
Book 6 - In Plain Sight √
Book 7 - Free Fire √
Book 8 - Blood Trail √
Book 9 - Below Zero √
Book 10 - Nowhere to Run √
Book 11 - Cold Wind
Book 12 - Force of Nature
Editing for Kindle /iPad: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 368 Book ends on iPad on page 357 & then as usual 1st chptr of next book
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
on 30 January 2012
Nowhere to run is the tenth in Box's series about Wyoming Game Warden, Joe Pickett and the first I have read. Based on this I will certainly be reading more of Pickett's adventures.
Box not only provides us with a brilliantly thriller (and it is more of a thriller that a mystery) but also a cast of convincing characters that I would like to get to know better.
Perhaps the most strongest character however is the State of Wyoming itself which Box portrays more effectively than any tourist guide could hope to do.
Nearing the end of an assignment Pickett follows up reports of vandalism and the theft of other hunter's kills. This brings him into conflict with twin brothers, living illegally off the land. The encounter nearly cost him his life.
To give you a flavour if this were a movie then the opening third of the book would be a cross between No Country for Old Men and Deliverance, with a dash of Seraphim Falls. I found these passages by far the most enthralling.
Later on, while it maintains much of the pace and atmosphere it becomes more a story about big government conspiracies and individuals, both Pickett and his adversaries struggling against bureaucracy, but in very different ways. I found that less satisfactory but still a good thriller.
Pickett's family life and friendships are well painted, although having not read any of the earlier books I found some of the background and references to previous adventures a little confusing. I look forward to putting that right in the near future.