5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader
Outstanding. Superb pacing, plausible plot and a wonderfully flawed protagonist. Establishes this author in the same league as James Lee Burke, which is about the nicest thing I can say.
Published on Feb 22 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting Too Political/Right Wing
I have read all 3 of Box's novels. He writes well and in general the stories and characters are interesting. But, each book has progressed a little further in ithe apparent aim to fault government in general and environmental agencies in particular. Winterkill is almost cartoonish in this regard. Clearly, with any form of regulation, there are problems. But, it's...
Published on July 11 2003
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1.0 out of 5 stars Winterkill,
By A Customer
This review is from: Winterkill (Mass Market Paperback)I am a avid reader,but as a senior with a fixed income I can only afford to buy paperback books, this book like many I want to read have to small of print to read comfortable. They are losing out on a lot of sales just to save printing a few more pages.
5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read,
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Series Continues: Winterkill,
As the novel opens, an early winter storm is bearing down on Battle Mountain in 12 Sheep County, Wyoming. Game Warden Joe Picket is on the mountain on patrol. He has recently seen a truck in the area and knows that at least one hunter is up on the mountain somewhere with him and most likely seeking an elk before the pending storm hits. Warden Pickett earlier had seen an elk herd also in the vicinity so the hunter may be in luck. Then as the sky darkens and the snow begins, Warden Pickett hears gunfire. Gunfire that seems to continue long after one elk should have been hit which means the hunter might actually be a poacher.
Warden Pickett soon finds that the herd he saw earlier has been massacred. Bodies of elk, dead or dying are strewn in a small meadow and the shooter is Lamar Gardiner, head of the United Sates Forest Service for the area. When Gardiner is confronted, he seems not to realize what he has done and is erratic in his responses. Warden Pickett takes him into custody and as they begin the multi hour journey back down the mountain out of the blizzard, Gardiner becomes increasingly deranged in word and actions. Somehow, he manages to escape leaving Warden Picket to go after him in the snowstorm. Eventually, Warden Picket finds Gardiner, dying, and pinned to a tree after being shot through by two arrows.
The loss of his suspect and subsequent murder once again make Joe the laughing stick of the local Sheriff's Department. But in a parallel story line, Warden Pickett has more pressing personal matters to attend to. While he wants to figure out why Gardiner did what he did and who killed him, he faces the loss of his foster daughter, April. April's mother who abandoned her three years ago leaving her alone and taken in by Warden Pickett and his family suddenly returns to Saddlestring. The adoption hasn't been finalized and now her mother is back and wants April back. Even though her mother is part of a group of anti federal extremists camping in the local forest, they are powerless to stop her mother from taking her back because she has a court order. Warden Pickett, a member of law enforcement is torn apart as he watches the system he is sworn to uphold disintegrate in his face because he can't protect April and a killer roams free.
Along with his usual intense writing, complicated characters, strong sense of pacing and another great mystery, the author once again weaves in numerous details of how the public lands are being protected or not as the case may be by those sworn to protect the nation's fragile resource. As always, C. J. Box brings the beauty of the Wyoming Mountains alive for his readers along with his characters. This third book is another in what seems to be building into a great series. As such they should be read in order from the beginning as noted and those that do will get more out of the intense and shocking ending of this novel.
4.0 out of 5 stars A winter's night entertainment.,
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional,
in the mystery field. Most readers will at one time or another
practically shout out, "leave the guy alone." The author
so fully developes his characters that you feel for all of them
as hero Joe Pickett works on multiple problems in his job as
a Wyoming game warden, and he tries to balance demands of
that job with his awesome responsibilities as a husband and father.
Plus, the writer has such descriptive powers that most readers
will be able to feel that cold Wyoming wind, and we can almost
feel ourselves sinking into those deep snowdrifts as we trudge
through the winter country, seeking answers to those multiple
The problems start when Pickett finds a USFS manager killing
multiple elk, for no apparent reason, and shortly after an arrest is
made, that government employee is chillingly murdered in bizarre
circumstances, and Pickett is left with more questons than answers. Then a BLM employee is lured into a truck mishap
and left to die in the cold.
But the problems really blow up when an inexperienced "task
force" leader shows up, and she bulls her way into the investigation with threats and bombast, and her ego-driven
"leadership" causes the whole mess to expand and start to spin
out of control.
We can only hope the US Forest Service hasn't declined as much
as the author suggests in this story, but that may be wishful thinking, because there is ample evidence that the great federal
land-management agencies have been taken over by issue-driven
bureaucrats, whose agendas don't include much consideration for
the people who actually use the resources they purportedly manage for the benefit of the many.
But Box apparently knows his subject matter, because the whole
story, with all the side issues, rings true. He writes in a way that
we can, and do, believe in the personality clashes and resource
mis-management he describes.
He is a very capable writer, and this story is both gripping and
full of truths we can understand and relate to.
Get yourself into this story and see how difficult it is to put down
before the finish.
5.0 out of 5 stars CJ Box, you're on my list!,
So, when "Winterkill" appeared for pre-order on Amazon[.com], I knew it would be worth the money. I had no idea what was to come. In this, the 3rd Joe Pickett book, Box has shown that, as a writer, he is just getting warmed up. Rather than being more-of-the-same, as many of these recurring character series are, "Winterkill" breaks the rules and delivers a few surprises that I defy anyone to predict. At a point in the series when his main characters risk becoming predictable and 2-dimensional, Box has instead raised the bar, giving them depth, conflict and soul. Clearly the best of the 3 novels so far, Box has given much more insight into his cast, especially Joe. And he's laid enough groundwork to continue a few story lines for several more books. The surprises and twists in this one are nothing short of courageous for a writer this early in his career. Box pulls off plot developments that many a seasoned writer would avoid like the plague. This guy is one to watch.
CJ Box, you're on my list of writers who's books I will buy sight-unseen. I don't need to know anything about the plot or even the title. Just tell me it's a new CJ Box book and I'm grabbing my wallet!
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular in every way!,
Joe, a Wyoming game warden is good at his job, a loyal family man, a good guy with flaws and doubts who does not suffer incompetents.
The murder of a Forest Service supervisor brings in federal bureaucrats led by the spiteful, psychotic and underhanded Melinda Strickland.
She immediately and incorrectly railroads Nate Romanowski, a local loner with a mysterious past.
When the government hating survivalists, the Sovereign Citizens camp on nearby federal land, Strickland recognizes a high profile opportunity. She is willing to orchestrate a bloody conflict to further her career.
Pickett understands the potential disaster, and with Nate attempts to uncover the true murderer before the showdown commences.
In the end, Joe must bend the law to insure justice---an act that deepens the character.
Filled with bright characters, the severe beauty of a Wyoming winter and incredible suspense, "Winterkill" is a present-day take on the old fashioned western.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm back in the Big Horns!,
5.0 out of 5 stars Go, Joe!,
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Winterkill by C. J. Box (Mass Market Paperback - Jun 28 2004)
CDN$ 8.99 CDN$ 8.54