C. J. Box's newest best seller, Cold Wind, marks his 11th visit to the popular Joe Pickett series. When we are first introduced to the world of Cold Wind it seems to be this wide expanse of big Wyoming emptiness. The events and characters look to be products of small town thinking and petty local politics. Yet you quickly learn that there's much more going on here. Wind turbines are coming to dominate the landscape and the economy. Unlikely new players are amassing huge fortunes and influence. Where you have money and power in play, you've got just the elements you need for conflict, mystery, and murder. It's against this backdrop that Joe Pickett works as a ranger. Ostensibly his job involves counting wildlife and keeping an eye on the local hunters, yet his role also allows him unique leeway to act both as the law as well as outside the law.
David Chandler has now narrated 10 of the Joe Pickett books, so he's very familiar with the New West tone and feel for the series. He has a bit of challenge with the number of characters here, but Joe’s friend Nate stands out. Nate plays counterpoint to Joe they're two sides of the same coin. Where Joe is the thoughtful family man, Nate is the badass wild card unfettered by society and living by his own moral code. You see this particularly in Chandler's voicing of the characters. Where Joe is the everyman voice of reason, Nate is the low menacing whisper of raw emotion and animal drives.
In many ways Cold Wind is reminiscent of an old established genre of storytelling that's populated Western literature for generations. It used to be the promise of the gold rush, then conflicts over cattle, then it was the oil boom; now the next big thing shaping the Western provinces is wind power. With Cold Wind, C. J. Box helps continue this proud American tradition of individualism and justice. Cleo Creech
When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for game warden Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in- law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn't know what to do - especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin.
But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl's death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? He has the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck. Whichever way this goes... it's not going to be good.
He's game: solve another mystery with Joe Pickett.
©2011 C.J. Box (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
The action starts right from the beginning and the suspense is tight and keeps you glued to the audio long after you should be doing something else. Literally listened to this book every chance I got until it was finished and right to the end was captured by it. C.J. Box is a very talented writer and this latest installment in the Joe Pickett saga may be the best in the series, which says a lot since the series is so good. The narration is great, the story spellbinding I would recommend this book without a single reservation. Already looking forward to the next in the series.
We could always count on C.J. Box for great plots and his characters are unforgettable. Now, in COLD WIND, he also nails the nuanced ambiance of the real Wyoming, geographically and politically. As a native of that great state, I can't wait for his next offering.
One of my top ten.
Nate. I love this mystery bird man.
Nate again. I love that sexy voice.
I listen in the car and when I am hiking. I really do hate to take my ear buds out.
This book was the best. Full of things going on, new things happening to our favorite characters. Can't wait for the next one.
David Chandler is marvelous reading this novel.
His vocal renderings are terrific, especially the Boris Karloff Romanowski.
When Joe witnesses henchmen placing a bomb in his truck.
Listen to it. Now we have to wait until the next one.
I liked it that Joe was just a regular guy doing a regular job, not some exotic fast gun stereo-type. I liked it that Joe Pickett was a family man in all ways. I liked it that things that happened seemed realistic.
This was the first Joe Picket character book I listened to. After listening to this one, I went and got all of the Joe Pickett series from 1 to 14 now. I am on 14 now, having listened to all of them in sequence, and this book twice, first and again in sequence. Have to admit I understood a lot more things in the book when listened to it in sequence. Each of C J's books seems an improvement over the last if that is possible. As I listen to them, I find myself saying to myself, this book is better than the previous ones. Each book seems to explain things that may have been left open in the previous book. Finally in book 14, I find a tie to my home state of Texas, Joe has a bottle of Shiner Bock beer. This is a wonderful beer from a small central Texas town and small Texas Spotzl Brewery. Thank you C J. Nice of you to notice something close to my heart. I would expect Joe Pickett to attend my church if he lived here.
Down to earth!
They all have been good, but this one it the nail right on the head.
I laughed and cried.
The plot is convoluted and improbable, and it moves very slowly. There are whole chapters that go by with nothing advancing the story. The problem with having a laconic cowboy type as a hero (as every good Western writer recognizes) is that because dialog is rare and terse, you need a lot of action. Moreover, you really can't have the hero be a wimp---taking abuse from people, getting beaten up, etc. Beyond that, the real problem is the author is not sure if he wants to write a book or a political tract. The characters are always going off on rants, usually about Washington and liberals, gun rights, and other talk show topics. Very un-cowboy, all this whining and crying. If I wanted to listen to some loudmouth ignorant reactionary, I could go down to a bar. When I buy a book, I expect some effort to develop characters and plot. This book has neither
The narrator has a limited number of voices, and many are more caricatures than characters. He has the obligatory Clint Eastwood voice for the tough hero, the 'dude' accent for all the young people (regardless of region or class), the women are variations of impatient, angry, or ditzy. But there is not much you can do with dialog when the author's only technique for moving it along is "He said" or "she said" even if they have been talking for a minute and it is pretty well clear who is speaking with who. I counted the "he said/Joe saids" in a one minute period---7!
Nate the special ops guy. Really, this is such a trite cliche. But the here, Joe, is not much. He is a game warden that doesn't seem to even notice the environment, never goes out in to the field, seems to have minimal outdoors skills, etc.
Box needs an editor
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