©2005 C.J.Box; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
"... if anything, Box is getting better. Recommended for practically everybody." (Booklist, starred review)
Being from Wyoming it is really neat to hear about the areas that I know and love. This however is not even close to the only reason I love this book. The Pickett series of books have a real feel to them with a real working mans hero type. Not one of these super human heros. C. J. Fox has a life long fan in me!
Each Joe Picket installment is better than the last, and this one I couldn't turn off. Each book reveals more of what makes the characters so intriguing and empathetic, even characters I am inclined to hate.
I appreciate that Box touches on the action in past novels very briefly, so I don't feel my time is being wasted, hearing what I already know. For this very reason, though, I would encourage fans of Joe Picket to buy the print edition or the audio book, if you can find it, of "Winterkill." It is another terrific book, and fills in a lot of why and how Joe and Mary Beth and Nate come to be the people they are. The audio cassettes have a narrator other than David Chandler, and he does an excellent job.
But back to, "Out of Range," the story finds Joe in Jackson's Hole, without his wife and girls to buoy him up...and the crossed wires of that situation are bad enough to cause one and all to lose their firm hold on just who they are and where their loyalties lie. Add all the mysteries, conflicts and characters that the new digs throw at Joe, the threats from within and without back at home, and you have one Joe Picket installment that you won't want to end. Even when Joe and Mary Beth are heading towards doing things that I do not want them to do, I cannot blame them, one little bit...it is enough to make me squirm! I have already bought and downloaded In Plain Sight! How great is it that I still have so many of these mysteries to listen to, before I have caught up with where Joe and is family are today??!!
A friend told me about this series and audible has the latest in the series wish you had all the books... the early Pickett's..........great characters and story lines both in the joe Pickette series and the one offs CJ Bos writes will always get his book as soon as they are released to audible
Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
I felt the characters thinly drawn, quite one-dimensional except for the outfitter Smoke. Joe seems more naive than usual and cannot resist putting his foot in his mouth at every opportunity. While he is devoted to his family, he can't find a time or a way to call his wife for extended periods. Once again, when his family is threatened, Joe's mysterious friend Nate Romanowski comes to their rescue. You know from the outset who the bad guys are, and it isn't hard to figure out how they got to his colleague Will Jensen. The circumstances surrounding his suicide, and the ultimate explanation of how it was done simply wasn't credible. The mysterious, beautiful Stella is about as real as a runway model and just not believable. In sum, Box is a good writer, but the plot was weak.
David Chandler's narration was excellent, as usual.
I am totally hooked on C.J. Box's wonderful stories about Joe Pickett. I have been listening to them from the beginning, starting with "Open Season" and have thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the plots, the suspense, Box's brilliant skill at bringing settings and situations to life and all of it has been enhanced immeasurably by David Chandler's excellent narration.
Having said that, I think Box has truly hit his stride with "Out of Range." The story starts fairly slowly but Box doesn't make us wait too long. He has a true gift in the way he builds tension for the reader. But he releases it "just in time" and often in the most unexpected ways.
I felt slightly uneasy with the plot devise surrounding Joe's and MaryBeth's communication difficulties, but even these were plot strings Box pulled juuuuuuust tight enough.
I can't say much more without spoilers, but I congratulate Box and Chandler. This was a really good book and an excellent "listen" and now I'm on to "In Plain Sight." Fortunately, I don't have to go to work tomorrow and have stuff to do in the house and garden so I can just listen pretty much all day!
Along about the time I finished this book, I decided to binge-read the entire Joe Pickett series this winter.
This book was thoroughly engaging, well-crafted, and not terribly credible. Joe Pickett has to go to Jackson Hole, where he seems unable to schedule phone calls home and nearly strays from his earnest marriage vows with relatively little temptation. Instead of just noting that his temptress is a hottie, he nearly tips over the edge of seduction with almost no provocation. Since this moral weakness is, in my opinion, out of character for Joe, I kept imagining the strains of Lynryd Skynrd's "Simple Man" swelling in the background. The problem is, Box has painted such a great portrait of Joe in previous books that we know he is NOT that simple - in tune with nature, self-aware, morally complex, and completely devoted to his wife and children.
The plot was fascinating - horrible rich developer combines forces with a sustainable meat rancher to the stars to thwart Wyoming Fish & Game. The developer is ruthless and corrupt; the good meat movement guy is inexplicable. Maybe based on the sustainable-but-selfish founder of Whole Foods? Joe faces mortal peril quite a lot, and in very different ways than he does in other novels.
Leaves you waiting for the next book. Love the characters and the feeling of in being there in rugged environment.
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