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What can I say about C.J. Box and Joe Picket that I haven't said before? Nowhere to Run is No 10 in the Joe Picket series and it totally knocks your boots off. We have watched Joe Picket change over the years from an honest upstanding game warden who would rather cut off his right arm than break the law to become an honest upstanding game warden who has had to kill people in the line of duty. He has become hardened and with that hardening comes conflicts of conscience as he struggles with doing the right thing as opposed to up-holding the law that he has sworn to do.
Joe is still in the wilderness, literally, after his last outing, but his banishment from his re-extended family to Baggs, was about to be over with his reassignment to Twelve Sleep County and home.
All he needed to do was set out and complete one final check of the district around Baggs on horseback, to investigate the case of the missing and butchered elk, or, he could have just finished some paperwork……
Part of me was mouthing, ‘do the paperwork Joe, go home to Marybeth and the girls…’ but then I knew that was impractical and it wouldn’t make for compelling reading. So, Joe riding Buddy with Blue Roanie trailing with his equipment sets off into the Sierra Madre of Southern Wyoming and as usual all hell breaks loose.
Joe Pickett is one stubborn man. If he come across someone hunting or fishing it doesn’t matter to him as long as they have the correct permits and they have those permits on them, if they don’t, they get a ticket, end off, no discussion.
Maybe if Joe hadn’t been so stubborn when he came across a strange looking guy in the mountains who was fishing in a cirque, and after telling himself that the guy was strange and ‘threatening’ and if he wasn’t so stubborn, he might just have kept riding on bye, telling the guy to get a permit as soon as he got back to town…
But Joe was stubborn and sworn to uphold the law and he just couldn’t let it go….
Joe loses everything, his horses, his gear, his guns and his dignity and only barely manages to escape with his life after discovering that there was not one ‘strange and threatening’ guy, but two, identical twins and they don’t want no government man interfering in their simple way of life.
Having followed Joe’s exploits over the years you feel so helpless at seeing him so powerless and hating the brothers for what they are doing to him. You find yourself fearing that Marybeth and the girls are going to be left to cope on their own and we have finally reached the end of the trail with Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden, who after all these years can still barely hit the side of a tree with his Glock handgun; cursing at him for never getting better with it, relying on the spray of his shotgun, which he has lost…
The brothers are the archetypical anti-heroes, nasty and mean without one redeeming feature and you find yourself despising them throughout but , Mr Box has one or two surprises left in store for us and as you quickly turn the pages trying to keep up with the pace of the story as it unfolds over 10 days in late summer, you find that your sympathies are stretched to breaking point, and may well shift., as the climax explodes on to the pages in the most unexpected of ways ….. You will not be disappointed.
Nowhere to Run, has all the usual suspects coming in and out Nate Romanowski, who finds his loyalties tested. Governor Rulon who is giving Joe back his life but as usual, Joe’s honesty and integrity finds the Governor wishing that he could find an even remoter out post to lose Joe in. and FBI Special Agent Coon finds his cohunes. Marybeth is in trouble with the girls growing up; Sheridan is now 18, sheesh I remember when she was just a baby, it seems like yesterday and Lucy and the newly reunited April Keeley back into the family wasn’t exactly the bed of roses everyone thought it was going to be and of course Missy Alden, ne Van Bruen, nee, nee, nee, Marybeth’s mother who kept trading up for richer and more powerful husbands is here too annoying every one. Box also throws in some humour too, to lighten the mood from time to time. Dave Farkus ‘Shut up Dave’ doesn’t get tired, although if I was one of the 4 men in black I would probably have shot him after the first stupid sentence out of his mouth, but then I suppose I wouldn’t have laughed every time he appeared and that’s why Mr Box writes and I don’t ….
Book 2 – Savage Run √
Book 3 – Winterkill √
Book 4 – Trophy Hunt √
Book 5 – Out of Range √
Book 6 – In Plain Sight √
Book 7 – Free Fire √
Book 8 – Blood Trail √
Book 9 – Below Zero √
Book 10 – Nowhere to Run √
Book 11 – Cold Wind
Book 12 – Force of Nature
Editing for Kindle /iPad: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Page length on kindle /iPad: 368 Book ends on iPad on page 357 & then as usual 1st chptr of next book
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5