This latest novel in the series finds Joe Pickett reassigned from Saddlestring to Jackson Hole, Wyoming on temporary assignment. Jackson Hole, home of the Teton District, is the marquee district in the state of Wyoming and as such, the political playground of the rich and famous as well as any environmental group. While intrigued with the challenge of running such a high profile district, Joe Pickett never wanted to get the job because of the death of his good friend Will Jensen.
However, that is exactly what happened and the fact that he apparently died by suicide is unbelievable to Joe. The man he knew never would have done such a thing. As he begins work in the district, he begins to understand some of the intense pressure Will was under first hand. While some questions are quickly answered, those answers as well as an unrelated string of events, lead Joe to dig into the case. Powerful interests are at work and as Joe digs into not only Will’s suicide but various matters he was working on, decisions are made that put Joe into peril as well as his family back home in Saddlestring.
As in earlier novels in the series, this fifth novel in the series reflects the author’s clear love for the outdoors as well as his disdain for various groups that use the environment for their own selected purpose. Environmentalists, politicians, and land developers come up for equal contempt as Joe tries to balance out everyone’s needs in regards to the best use of the land. The marital strife between Joe and his wife, which first surfaced a couple of novels ago continues and is made worse by the forced separation. However, overriding it all is the storyline of Will Jensen’s death, which remains a strong intriguing presence that runs the gamut of the book and is not lost among the side stories.
Which is why, novel after novel, this author remains worth reading. Consistently, C. J. Box shows the average person what the Game Wardens have to face in our modern use it all up today society and how difficult their job is to protect the wilderness that some of us got to see in our youth. At the same time, each novel has at its core, an intriguing mystery that just as easily could have happened at the center of the urban jungle. With all the story elements any reader could want, this author provides quality enjoyable novels and this one is no exception.
I strongly suggest that they should be read in order. From the beginning, they are titled, “Open Season,” “Savage Run,” “Winterkill,” “Trophy Hunt” and his latest, “Out Of Range.”
Out Of Range
By C. J. Box
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN # 0-399-15291-1
More next time and as always feel free to drop me a note here or at Kevin_tipple@att.net with your comments, observations, and suggestions.
Thanks for reading!
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005
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