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Publisher's Summary

Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

©2001 C.J. Box (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,149
  • 4 Stars
    1,700
  • 3 Stars
    640
  • 2 Stars
    113
  • 1 Stars
    60

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,274
  • 4 Stars
    1,365
  • 3 Stars
    442
  • 2 Stars
    72
  • 1 Stars
    41

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,954
  • 4 Stars
    1,467
  • 3 Stars
    583
  • 2 Stars
    114
  • 1 Stars
    54
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As refreshing as sunrise in the mountains

STORY (fiction) - This book is a really nice, easy read. There are great characters and a beautiful wintery setting in rural Wyoming. The main character, Joe Pickett, is a game warden. He's a good guy with a loving family. In this book he gets entangled in a mystery involving some murders and a possible endangered species. The story moves at just the right pace with just the perfect amount of detail and suspense. I had things pretty much figured out early, but it was still great to hear things unfold. Think of it as a mystery that's set in the mountains instead of New York or some other busy city. (This series is somewhat similar to the Walter Longmire series, though this is less "westerny," in my opinion, and I like this series much better).

PERFORMANCE - Good job, though he doesn't bother to attempt different voices to distinguish between the characters.

OVERALL - If this were a movie, I'd rate it PG-13. It would be great for family road trips, as men, women, boys and girls would all find things to like about the story. But there is some shooting and death. There is no sex, but there are a couple extremely mild sexual situations. There was probably a tiny bit of cursing. Even though this is the first book in the series, it stands alone.

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

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

This is where it all began.......

This is the first book in the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box and to begin with the story was somewhat awkward; however, the more I read the more I had to read. Joe Pickett is a good guy! He tries to live his life by doing the "right thing" in every aspect of his life. He is a vulnerable human being and the author shares this with you. There are some parts of the story that you can not help but to laugh at the "humanness" of the situations. Open Season is an easy read, an enjoyable read; I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading stories where good triumphs over evil.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The start of an adventure!

This is where it all starts. If you are a fan of C.J. Box or Joe Pickett this book is the foundation to the series. If you are not yet a fan, start with Open Season and you will find a great outdoor modern west mystery that will hook you for rest of the Joe Pickett series. These are great books to sit and listen to. I have read them all and now I will get a chance to listen to them. I would only hope that Audible will pick up the few missing books to fill the gaps in this series. Listening to them each in order of release is advised, but each one makes for a great stand alone mystery. Enjoy.

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

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

outstanding listen

I first listened to Below Zero about a year ago. I found it on sale and thought it sounded interesting. Since then I've listened to everything Audible has by C.J. Box. What they didn't have in audio I read.
David Chandler does such an excellent job at narrating the Joe Pickett series I had to have this book in my collection. You won't be disappointed.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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

Introduction to Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett!

I should have reviewed this 2001 C. J. Box novel years ago. Open Season is Book 1 in the long series. Twelve Sleep, Wyoming's game warden Joe Pickett is one of the most popular protagonists in all of the suspense mystery world. The novels in the series are standalone, but Open Season simply must be read first to understand the determined, thorough, and totally ethical good guy Joe Pickett. David Chandler narrates all of C. J. Box's novels. He's quite good. but not one of the best.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Murder mystery in Wyoming

This is another “try something new” purchase. I was engaged throughout the book. This really should be a 3.5 star as I can’t put it in my most memorable category, but it is interesting enough to pursue another Pickett story.

The mystery surrounding the motives and method of multiple murders unfolds as the character of Joe Pickett develops. I find it refreshing to have the sleuth a game warden instead of a detective. At times Pickett seems bumbling and at others he is tenacious following his moral compass and his duty to protect the wildlife of Wyoming. He also deserves some sympathy as he is underpaid, his intelligence is underestimated, he is verbally assaulted, and his family is targeted. I suspect that he will become more “real” as the series progresses and look forward to listening to the next episode.

This is not a rush-of-adrenaline adventure. Instead, it is more of an easy listening mystery. David Chandler does a good job of narrating: there is expression to his reading, but excessive emotion or tension would seem out of place here.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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

Seems like a decent guy.


Joe Picket is a newly minted warden in "small-town, big-game" Wyoming.

He is an incorruptible character with high ideals. (enter dirty-dealing friends and big money temptation). He quickly makes a few enemies who would like nothing better than to see Picket replaced and his reputation destroyed - and if they have their way that's exactly what will happen.

To the author's credit he has left out a lot of unnecessary "sensationalism" that most author's are tempted to junk up their writing with. (eg., there is very little, if any, foul language; no grisly details or gory, deranged murders; lusty scenes are mostly replaced with monogamous relationships). Neither does he preach his values, he just tells a story.

However, to be fair review, the storyline is promising, but rather predictable.

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

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

Disappointed.

What disappointed you about Open Season?

The reviews I read made this book sound great. However, I found the story weak and predictable, the plot seemed familiar. The characters were shallow and somewhat silly, it was easy to guess what they would say and do. A young child was given the thinking processes of an adult and the language, in her thoughts, to analyze her feelings as if she were a counselor. Periodically the author made inane statements such as indicating that a funeral was for the dead men (most readers would assume the stars of the funeral were dead, right?). The funeral itself was idiotic.

Has Open Season turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I am not likely to select anything by this author.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Chandler’s performances?

I would listen to the preview more closely, I wasn't impressed with the performance.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed mainly because the reviews sounded good.

Any additional comments?

In general, I wish more listeners would write reviews. I appreciate reading the one star reviews when they are thoughtful (I hope mine is) so I have more than one opinion.

59 of 70 people found this review helpful

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

A Refreshing Detective

What made the experience of listening to Open Season the most enjoyable?

I have become a little tired of jaded, alcoholic detectives. Joe Pickett is a refreshing change.

What other book might you compare Open Season to and why?

None come to mind.

Which scene was your favorite?

I guess the one where his daughter escapes to the woods.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing comes to mind.

Any additional comments?

Interesting story with a great setting. The underlying question about the environment versus the economy is handled well. The villain makes a compelling case for not sacrificing too much to keep near extinct species from becoming extinct.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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

Very enjoyable. Joe Pickett is a great leading man

What did you love best about Open Season?

I liked almost everything about it. Mr. Box's ability to convey a sense of place, Wyoming, is almost at the level of James Lee Burke's truly brilliant ability to bring both Louisiana and Montana to vivid life. Also, Joe Pickett is a really easy guy to like. He is an All-American of
the detective/thriller/mystery genre (that's a genre?). And the family gets a lot of attention, and the plot is quirky enough to hold your attention. All told, a wonderful book to read.

What did you like best about this story?

All of the above, plus more. David Chandler is a terrific narrator, and here he brings all of the characters to rich and distinctive lives. And, the little town of Saddle Strings has a life of its own, filled with small town-drama, big dreams, and the cliched-but-true saying about everyone knowing everyone's business.

What does David Chandler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I know that I have heard him read other works, but it is now Saturday midnight, and my cognitive skills are quite noticeably fading away. Mr. Chandler, though reads like a champ. He is never false or trivial with his characters, and even gives little six-year-old Sheridan a complete repertoire of inflections and moods. This is fine reading.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I can never do that, and I wouldn't really want to.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful