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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Joe Pickett story
C.J. Box has rightly established himself as one of the premier crime writers in the world today. This book exhibits all his talent in another story about Game Warden Joe Pickett solving crime in the wilderness environment that the author so clearly loves. His settings are vivid and the characters (even minor ones) are real and alive. As usual, the plot has the unforeseen...
Published 17 months ago by Natassia J.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars
This book is good at the beginning and great towards the end. It is also nicely descriptive in places, where it needs to be. If only the remainder of the book was nearly as good it would deserve 5 stars. However, it does drag on, even though the story develops from time to time, but it manages to lose that momentum, until you are on the final straight.
Published 7 months ago by J Bannion


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Joe Pickett story, 8 Dec. 2013
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C.J. Box has rightly established himself as one of the premier crime writers in the world today. This book exhibits all his talent in another story about Game Warden Joe Pickett solving crime in the wilderness environment that the author so clearly loves. His settings are vivid and the characters (even minor ones) are real and alive. As usual, the plot has the unforeseen twists and turns that keep you wondering and wanting to read more. I had to ration my reading (as usual with these books) in order to make it last longer. If I have one complaint is that the story seemed too short. But, I have felt the same about other C.J. Box novels and I think it is because he does not waste time with insignificant matters but, like the main character, keeps charging ahead to a final resolution.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the wonderful C J BOX, 15 Feb. 2011
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My husband bought me a kindle for Christmas and I purchased a few of the "Twelve Days Of Christmas " books for my new kindle .
I do doubt that I would have read C J Box otherwise . I was amazed . His descriptive abilities are fantastic. His hero Joe Pickett is a man we all know .Quiet unremarkable ,but possessed of the ability to see people as they really are .He sees the best in all he meets and suffers when let down .I can really imagine the wilderness as he portrays it, I can feel his sadness and his joy . I have now read 8 ( not all available on kindle worst luck) of of the books in the series and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone who loves a good mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunters are Hunted, 21 May 2012
By 
Tom Stronach (Essex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Blood Trail, number 8 in the ' Joe Pickett' series and yes I may as well say right out at the front - EVERY BIT AS GOOD AS 1 THROUGH 7!

Joe is back in Saddlestring with Marybeth and the girls, Nate is in Federal prison after he and Joe were double crossed by Portenson when investigating the 'perfect murder' in Yellowstone Park , the FBI agent who hates Wyoming and anything to do with the morons who live in such a godforsaken backwood, animal infested part of the country!

Joe and Marybeth have now bought a 'house' in town and Joe is filling in across the state for absent or sick wardens. Nosey neighbours are making Joe wish that he was back in the isolation of their state owned house and hunting season is in full swing.... and it's not just the game that's being hunted.

A new hunter has arrived in the state, not hunting the wildlife but the hunters themselves. Two have already been killed elsewhere when the third is killed in the hills outside Saddlestring and they are not just being killed, they are being strung up like an Elk sliced open and left on display....

The Governor again calls on Joe to investigate and Director Pope, Joe's boss who hates Joe as much as he (Joe) hates him, and not forgetting he was the guy who sacked 'our' Joe, want's to be in the field as part of the investigation and seems to be backing Joe up! You just know that ultimately this means that there is going to be more trouble in store for him.

Joe also finds Stella Ennis is back, this time working for the Governor, Joe nearly fell for her and this damaged his marriage for a while, what will happen when Marybeth finds out that Stella is back?

Joe asks the Governor to intervene with the FBI and have Nate released, but he refuses and brings in a specialist tracker, who also ends up getting killed while out with Joe....... as does ...... (no spoilers - but sadness is felt)

Joe knows that there is something more to the killings but can't figure it out, as usual. A high profile Anti Hunt protester and his Indian wife arrive in Saddlestring and this complicates the enquiry as he hails the 'hunter' as a hero.

Vern Dunnegan, Joes predecessor and mentor and the guy that Joe had to arrest all those years ago when he was involved in an incident that got Marybeth shot and nearly killed and resulted in them losing an unborn child, is back in the frame somehow and Joe has to confront him in prison....

Once again you think you know what the outcome is going to be but Box leaves it until about the last few pages to confuse and reveal the real killer it was a surprise, until you realise that the answer was also staring you, as it was Joe, right in the face.

Box, just continues to provide an enthralling read. In between the business of Game Warden and Murder we get the 'mundane' family life; growing daughters with the angst that that brings, nosey and irritable neighbours and of course the continuing saga of Missy Vankueron-Longbrake, Joe's mother-in-law. The narrative flows seamlessly from the high octane of danger and death to discussions on homework, school and cleaning the roof gutters and fixing tiles and fences to keep the neighbours happy, how many authors do you read, that are this good?

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: 4 out of 5*
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 301 for the book (and 1st chapter of next book taking it to 314)
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

* found another word with a hyphen that shouldn't have been there Mr Box

You can purchase Free Fire At Amazon UK here or at Amazon US here

CJ Box can be found here
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 7 Oct. 2013
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this is a first rate book
would recommend it to anyone
can't wait to read the next one which is Below Zero
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read and I am hooked on C J Box and Joe Pickett, 8 Jan. 2014
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Bought one of C J Box's novels as it was on special offer and I loved it. This is the second and although I am going back and forward in the series, it doesn't matter as each story is self contained and the characters are developed in each book. Who would have thought that a US Game Warden could have such an exciting life?!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, as usual, 19 May 2013
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I love the 'Joe Pickett' series. Joe and his family are so believable. There are always shocks in the books as well - no character is safe. My one criticism of the author is, that, in letting the characters age, we will run out of stories and I really don't want them to end!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book, 18 Sept. 2013
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One of CJBox's best;full of suspense,very well written and a real thriller.I have enjoyed many of the stories involving Joe Picket and his character is being gradually developed with skilful writing.A thrilling and surprising climax.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker, 27 Sept. 2014
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I don't know how much I can add to the praise cj box gets for his hero.
His writing style is fast paced and brief he dosnt waste words, though he still manages to paint the pictures in your mind.
His hero Joe Pickett is likeable and human, didn't always get it right but always does the right thing.
In this novel he is tracking down a killer who is hunting hunters, a environmental activist is encouraging the killer while seeking to further his own ends.
Beyond d that you will have to read yourself, if you have never read this series dig out the earlier books you really will enjoy the stories more if you read in order, though it's not necessary.

Read the tale and allow yourself to be whisked away.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Gripping, 2 Jan. 2014
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I read Open Season eighteen months ago and liked it. So during the time that followed I picked up four other CJ Box books on Kindle (all at bargain prices). Obviously quite a lot has happened in the world of Joe Pickett since then, and perhaps I should have followed the advice of another reviewer and read the books in order. But having said that, this book is a good read in its own right and more than just a whodunit: it's interesting and serious too. The plot is certainly gripping, with various twists and turns.

I enjoyed this book and I'm glad I returned to CJ Box. I look forward to reading the others in my Kindle collection, though not immediately since I might feel a bit over-faced.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Always a good read....., 4 Mar. 2013
By 
A. F. Prestwich (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Another very enjoyable read from C.J.Box. Writes extremely well but it is the restricted environment in which he operates making it difficult to give more than three or four stars. It pays to have read all the Joe Pickett books to fully understand the characters as they come in and out but if you have, you generally look forward to the next. How much mileage there is in a Wyoming game warden's life remains to be seen and it helps to have his other character Nate on the fringe although I have been critical when Box focuses on him as the main player as the stories become a little over the top. I look forward to the next Joe Pickett to see where he takes us.
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