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Publisher's Summary

Everything about the man is a mystery: The massive ranch in the remote Black Hills of Wyoming that nobody ever visits, the women who live with him, the secret philanthropies, the private airstrip, the sudden disappearances. And especially the persistent rumors that the man’s wealth comes from killing people. Joe Pickett, still officially a game warden but now mostly a troubleshooter for the governor, is assigned to find out what the truth is, but he discovers a lot more than he’d bargained for. There are two other men living up at that ranch. One is a stone-cold killer who takes an instant dislike to Joe. The other is new - but Joe knows him all too well. The first man doesn’t frighten Joe. The second is another story entirely.

©2014 C.J. Box (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't expect to like it as much as I did

STORY (game warden/detective) - This is Book 14 in the Joe Picket series, but it's my first. From reading other reviews, I learned that the series has great characters and that you're missing out if you don't start with Book 1. I agree and disagree. I loved the characters in the book even though I just "met" them, but I can see how the experience would be greatly enriched by starting from Book 1...which I plan to do!

The story is set in rural Wyoming, present day. Joe Picket, the main character, is a game warden but is working for the Governor in this book, trying to spy on someone accused of major crimes. What follows is a nice, easy listen that kept me coming back every second I could. There is mystery, action and suspense, but it's not constant or gut-wrenching. Everything that happens is believable as opposed to "over the top." And in between are wonderful descriptions of the wintery Wyoming countryside.

PERFORMANCE - I love it when narrators are able to give different voices to most of the main characters. And in this case, they're all very realistic. Great job! (And I especially love the husky voice given to the mysterious Nate Romanowski.)

OVERALL - There is no sex, but there is cursing and violence. There are a couple pretty gnarly descriptions of bodies as well. Not recommended for kids except MAYBE older teens. I'm squeamish, but these descriptions were fairly short so I had no problem hearing them. The story stands alone. I think this would be a great book for a husband/wife road trip.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great story

Joe Pickett is the man. It's hard not to like a man who works hard, loves his family, & has unquestionable integrity.

I really enjoyed the book as I have all the Joe Pickett stories written by CJ Box. David Chandler does an excellent job narrating.

If I had to suggest an area for Improvment it would be that the author might have included just a little too much anti-federal government rhetoric this time.

Then, of course, there is the obvious complaint that the book is too short ;)

Great book, clean, and entertaining! Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 03-18-15

Great series

I love this series, the writing is fantastic and the characters are great.

Game Warden Joe Pickett is asked by the Govenor, (off the record), to go to a small Wyoming town to Investigate the mysterious death of his undercover representative. The representative was originally sent in to find out, just why, a millionaire mogul would build a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Joe uses his status as a neighboring Game Warden as a ruse that he is there to observe and report on their local Game Warden. Immediately upon his arrival he finds out that almost everyone in the town is either indebted to, or on the payroll of the millionaire rancher, including the town Sheriff and Judge. As he digs deeper he is disappointed to find that his friend and ex special ops., Jake, is somehow wrapped up in whatever is going on. With little help from anyone in town and time restricted by the Governors office, Joe must execute his complicated plan with precision and perfect timing, in order to come out of it alive.

Needless to say when things don't go just right, chaos ensues, and all heck breaks loose. This was a fast paced story with a few clever twists that made it hard to put down. David Chandler did an excellent job narrating. I love when I can't wait to get back to a book. The Joe Pickett series is among my favorites.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Minott
  • Cardiff by the Sea, CA United States
  • 03-18-14

Wow. Realistic Characters Keep the Interest High

C.J. Box is the best modern twister of plots who maintains credibility. I love the characterization, especially the supporting cast of recurring functional and dysfunctional characters like Sheridan or Dave Farkus. Settings are fabulous and adventure is realistic, but one caution here: the series provides a catalogue of ways that you wouldn't want to die; these books are not for the overly squeamish. The narrator is especially good with these characters, and this is one of the best in the series. It leaves us with some issue to reflect upon as we eagerly await the next book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The edge of destruction

To me CJ Box and his creative mind in telling a story is a leader of the 20th and 21st century mystery writers.
There always are new bad guys with a sprinkling of somewhat good guys. This story features the ultra rich trying to rewrite the rules for society, only to find that people generally cling to certain ways of thinking that aren't self correcting by spreading around cash rewards.
Joe's daughter is featured in this story, along with overzealous thinking exemplified by all players in her first major emergency that is built totally by a series of assumptions

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mac
  • Clinton, Montserrat
  • 01-18-16

A sophomoric story hurt by terrible narration

What disappointed you about Stone Cold: Joe Pickett, Book 14?

My first listen to Joe Pickett, and my last. In truth, the narration by David Chandler was so annoying I cold not finish the book. The plot could not compensate for the almost humorous attempts by Mr. Chandler to affect different personas with his voice. He would do better narrating a children's book. The book might appeal to someone with a ninth grade education.

Would you ever listen to anything by C. J. Box again?

Nope

How could the performance have been better?

By having a better narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Sorry - I gave up after about 3 hours of listening. No redeeming qualities.

Any additional comments?

None

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stone Cold

Any additional comments?

About eleven hours of listening, read by David Chandler, book 14 in the Joe Pickett series. This is a fun mystery. Bad guys, good guys, and sweet romance (no erotica) traverse the pages and you’ll have fun following along. This adventure takes Joe Pickett to a remote area of Wyoming in an effort to track an elusive and wealthy murder-for-hire despot at the same time his daughter deals with a college campus mass shooter.

David Chandler does a nice job - male and female voices, the point of view is that of the lead character, Joe Pickett. Nice narration. No trouble discerning who-says-what-to-who.

Joe Pickett is the focal character for a number of C. J. Box novels, and I’ve fallen into the series having read book 14 and 15 at this point. Joe is a wildlife ranger/officer, who also does side-jobs for the governor. Nora Robert’s Anna Pigeon comes to mind. These two novels have convinced me to start the series at the beginning … I’ve become a fan! No problem jumping into the middle of this series, however. The stories stand alone with a little teaser to move on.

Enjoy ~

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Joe at His Best

So suspenseful it had me squirming. This story really fleshes out Joe Pickett's complex personality: kind, tough, smart, loyal, and sexy. Even tho' I'd already heard the next book, this was a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 03-18-14

my favorite Pickett book!

The last couple of Pickett installments almost made me give up on the series, but because I had pre-ordered this book I decided to give Joe, Nate and company one more chance. I am glad I did! In this novel Joe again leaves home but somehow MaryBeth and Sheridan stay involved in the storyline. And although I would like more of Nate, he was there and somehow his minor involvement felt more than minor. Same with Lucy and Missy.

The plot line was believable and intriguing. And Joe was less perfect than in the last book. It was nice to have the flawed, and genuine Joe back. He is much more likable when he isn't too perfect. Last novel he felt like a caricature; this time he is character. So much better.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful start, then less interesting

Any additional comments?

This installment of C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series mmediately draws the reader into a suspenseful episode from the point of view of the paid assassin. Unfortunately, the story deflates quickly with cartoonish stereotypes of young people, Westerners, families, and Bad Guys.

The series continues to be popular with my book club, but not with me personally. This particular title was hyper-violent and the self-righteous interior dialogues were tiresome. I guess if I had to choose an element of the story that I found to be original, I would have to say that it was the appearance of not one but two loner-type paid assassins in this story. Their relationship and their separate stories drove the plot when the other Bad Guys were just not interesting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful