C.J. Box’s Open Season is a rare debut mystery that “immediately sets itself apart from the crowd” (Booklist). This thrilling novel stars Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming who finds his life in danger after he looks into a murder investigation and discovers a conspiracy involving an oil pipeline and its threat to an endangered species.
©2001 C.J. Box (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
good storyline, good characters, good suspense, good environmental information , good surprises and it all comes together nicely.
It's one of the best stories, in terms of an irresistible narrative and a current, mature understanding of the flaws in social idealism, bureaucratic protocol, and too-private agendas.
Not to give away the plot, when Pickett discovers the isolated high alpine field where killing had taken place to protect the greedy plans of the killers.
Again, not to give away the climax, it's where Pickett "disarms" one of the scumbags who has destroyed so much.
The story made me think of the importance of teaching children not to trust any adults with whom they have no established relationship. It reminded me of the strategy I used with my own sons, of developing a "password" question with them that would allow them to tell instantly if a suspicious adult was lying to them.
Joe wanted to be a game warden from his youth. He wanted to find the balance between what is good for wildlife, hunters and fishermen, ranchers and hikers. Those groups care mostly about their own desires. He did his job well.
Joe is not a perfect man or game warden but his instincts are good. He loves the forest as I do. Nothing is as satisfying as the water of a small stream passing by your legs as you present a lure. The walls of the canyon on either side of you and the beauty of the stream upstream and downstream of you.
Joe encounters bad business people, bad outfitters, bad environmentalists, bad sportsmen. But he follows his instincts to make the forest better for all those groups. Despite themselves.
Keep up the good work, Joe.
I'm on Book 12 now, still going strong, and still loving it: topics, writing style, narration and all. I wanted to know more about Joe's childhood, and that happened in the next novel. Ditto for Nate.
The writing is engaging and thorough, with scenes about falconry, stalking, hunting, firearms, processing, etc. but the story is also staged in the real world of politics, crime and intrigue.
As a southerner since the 1960's, though, I find the southerners in the series shallow and archetypal, a la "Deliverance". Many of the deceitful, ignorant characters are Southern and the narrator compounds the issue by giving them similar voices: catatonic, moronic and droning. I'd love a soft Georgia coastal accent, an upbeat/educated Texan accent, or ANY of the dozens of pleasant Southern dialects for a change.
Well paced and plotted, good character development, clearly written in strong prose that keeps moving forward.
It's not every day that you pick up a mystery about an endangered species, a handful of murders, and small-scale political corruption. C.J. Box does a good job developing all of these plot lines and some interesting major and minor characters to go along with it. He also does a nice job developing the personal story of the protagonist, Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden, and his family. Box portrays the political and economic perspectives in a western town with nuanced empathy. Will definitely follow this series - his awards are deserved.
Reader was straightforward and competent - just like the prose here.
I liked it but was really captivated. The first two thirds had some slow parts. I like Joe's character and his integrity.
After listening to scores of thrillers about all but super human government operatives this thriller struck a cord with its common man vibe. The Joe Picket character harbors no extraordinary skills and no ultra perception sensitivities. His super powers are simply his steadfastness and his commitment to doing the right thing. C.J. Fox has managed to make this suspense thriller work without any hero character gadgets. Wow that's no small feat.
The wilderness back drop gave this tale a lush texture all its own. But the most enjoyable aspect of this novel is the simple plausibility of the plot. There is no pandemic or threat thereof. There is no extraordinary governmental subterfuge . There is simply greed and some overzealous opportunist that spiral out of control. The focal point being the endangered species element pushed the envelope just a little bit but I still really enjoyed this well written book.
I found David Chandler's narration spot on. He didn't get in the way of the story with heavy handed drama.
Johnny got your gun....hah hah
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