It's an idyllic late-summer day in Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is fly-fishing with his two daughters when he stumbles upon the mutilated body of a moose. Whatever - or whoever - attacked the animal was ruthless: half the animal's face has been sliced away, the skin peeled back from the flesh. Shaken by the sight, Joe starts to investigate what he hopes in an isolated incident.
Days later, after the discovery of a small herd of mutilated cattle, Joe realizes this is something much more terrifying than he could have imagined. Local authorities are quick to label the attacks the work of a grizzly bear, but Joe knows otherwise. The cuts on the moose and the cattle were too clean, too precise, to have been made by jagged teeth. Are the animals only practice for a killer about to move on to another, more challenging prey?
Soon afterward, Joe's worst fears are confirmed. The bodies of two men are found within hours of each other, in separate locations, their wounds eerily similar to those found on the moose and cattle. There's a vicious killer, a modern-day Jack the Ripper, on the loose in Saddlestring - and it appears his rampage is just beginning.
He's game: solve another mystery with Joe Pickett.
©2004 C. J. Box (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
All the characters are becoming more and more rounded. We get more insight with each book in the series. If you like the Longmire series you'll love all of these too.
Empty nester couple....a Life Coach and a Suspense Writer with varied tastes. Blend of fiction & non-fiction.
This is my 4th or 5th Joe Picket novel by C.J. Box. And this may be the most complex plot of them all, growing deeper and deeper. Box knows how to build tension, picking up the pace as the climax nears until I find myself grasping for excuses to drive somewhere, run an errand, anything to have time to listen to more of the story.
Besides the main characters, Box creates amazingly memorable secondary characters, such as Not Ike, one of two black men in the town who people constantly mix up. One is Ike, and his cousin becomes known as Not Ike. Where does he come up with this stuff? It all adds to the deep realism that makes me feel like I've been to Saddlestring, Wyoming and met these people.
Great story. Highly recommended.
Yes, because I'm never disappointed by a Joe Pickett story. I like Joe and I like his family. I like them as people and I like their values.
If you haven't listened to a book in the Joe Pickett series, do yourself a favor and indulge in one.
I like Box's work, and Chandler's narration goes well with the prose. The situations are unusual enough and complex enough to be interesting, the characters deep enough to be engaging, the settings strong and the prose eloquent, even moving. The bad guys tend to be over-the-top bad, but at least Box has some surprise villains here. The family dramas wear on me after a while, but some might find them the best part.
Pickett is no super hero or sleuth. Just a very good person with persistance and honor. His relationship with Nate is interesting and adds a lot to the series. Looking forward to the next book. And I really like the reader. Good diferentiation of voices.
Retired, living in Montana, enjoying the good life. Favorites: CJ Box; Carl Hiassen and historical non-fiction—Modern European History
Top five, easily.
When it gets 'western.' Anything with Joe and Nate Romanowski with his cal. .454 Casull–the final showdown at the trailer.
Joe Pickett, I've gotten used to listening to Chandler as Joe and he does a very good job. Kudos to the characterizations of Mary Beth, Nate and Sheriff Bynum His characterization of Bynum makes your skin crawl. You either hate him or are beyond extremely annoyed with him. There's no way you can like Bynum.
There were a couple of 'gotcha' moments with the cattle/moose mutilations. When I first encountered this book, I thought, "CJ Box is Wyoming's answer to S. Florida's Carl Hiassen." (He isn't.) This one is a little more 'woo woo' than most of his books. Still, a good solid mystery.
While this is as competently put together as any of the Joe Pickett series, this has been my least favorite so far, for a couple of reasons - the topic is overly-grisly, and I found it not very credible that a serial killer was running around the forests of Wyoming. It was equally difficult to believe that the serial killer got into Saddlestring the way it's set up in the plot.
That said, the book is as cleanly written, with characters as well-developed as any of the Joe Pickett series, and I still enjoyed it enough to continue binge-listening thought the winter.
Listening to good books from around the world, in the comfort of home....
Lots of bad boys and girls in this story but Joe and his wife still believe in truth and honor,
He sheriff continues to be less than honorable. Joes friend Nick continues to walk on the edge but continues to put his life on the line for Joe. Nick continues to teach joe'S daughter falconry .
There is never a dull moment and if your attention waines you will miss key clues to the solution to all the killings.
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