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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Excellent, edge of my seat the whole time

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jacque
  • Lander, WY, United States
  • 03-26-11

New West

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Joe is a 5 star investigator

Boy o boy what a great story. CJ Box is a master when it comes to putting the pen to the paper and grind out a truly creative work. This murder mystery appears to finally enable Joe to give his snake in the grass mother-in-law a final good bye, but , yea there is always a but. This is a really good one and it takes Joe pickets stories to the next level

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

What a great ending!

The Joe Picket series is without question one of the best series you can read or listen to. This is without doubt is the best one yet. They just get better as it goes on. Can't wait to start the next book. The narrator couldn't be better! Please C.J, Let the series never end!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cartec
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 08-11-16

Cold wind with no chill at the end

I listened this book even though the subject matter wasn't really my cup of tea. I have never lived in Wyoming and never really cared to because of the politics in that 'part of the world'. This book did not disavow me of any of my conceptions about life in Wyoming. The characters were interesting and the plot moved along at a good pace. The mystery was good although I had figured out who and why long before the book ended. I don't like that in a book, particularly a mystery. To make matters worse it was the writer's inability to maintain constant doubt and intrigue that made it possible to figure out the plot and the end. The other problem was that the writer never fully explained how the antagonist got that body 250 feet in the air. It was more for sensation than for plot development.
I don't recommend this book, save your money/credit for something better.
The reader was okay. He did not enhance the suspense but he was not objectionable to listen to. His voice is easy and did not put me to sleep or interfere with the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good mystery

Excellent bag guys. Excellent heroes. No melodrama. Interesting murder. Nice location. Believable narrator. Moved right along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Slow start. Builds slowly

I would like for the story to build faster, maybe with more detail and move quicker.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Suspenseful

I liked this book because C J Box is a suspenseful writer. He keeps you off guard. You think you know the answers but he keeps throwing curves to keep you off guard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

One of his best!

The story is great it will take you through the twist and turns of all the many issues that have been going on in previous books and of course comes to a surprising conclusion. It's a page turner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Talk Show Politics, slow plot

What would have made Cold Wind better?

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

What do you think your next listen will be?

Cugel's Saga

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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!

What character would you cut from Cold Wind?

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.

Any additional comments?

Box needs an editor

1 of 1 people found this review helpful