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Out of Range (A Joe Pickett Novel) Paperback – July 5, 2016
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“Grade A...His best yet...Deserves to be on any list of top American mysteries...If youb haven't yet discovered C. J. Box, don't wait.”—Rocky Mountain News
“An unforgettably tense trip into the high country...Box's depiction of family tensions rings true. This fifth in a series is a Western lover's mystery, relying heavily on guns and honor; clearly, Joe's the real sheriff in town.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“If anynthing, Box is getting better...Recommended for practically everybody.”—Booklist (starred review)
More Praise for the C. J. Box and the Joe Pickett novels
“One of today’s solid-gold, A-list, must-read writers.”—Lee Child
“Picking up a new C. J. Box thriller is like spending quality time with family you love and have missed...It’s a rare thriller series that has characters grow and change. An exciting reading experience for both loyal fans as well as newcomers.”—Associated Press
“Box is a master.”—The Denver Post
“Box knows what readers expect and delivers it with a flourish.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett strides in big boots over the ruggedly gorgeous landscape of C.J. Box's outdoor mysteries.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Riveting...[A] skillfully crafted page-turner.”—People
“Will keep you on the edge of your seat.”—The Philadelphia Enquirer
About the Author
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons (July 5, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399575723
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399575723
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 0.94 x 7.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Joe Picket, the protagonist in this and all other C. J. Box books to date, is a wonderful character, and the author has put us so inside the character in the other books that we KNOW what Joe is likely to think and do in almost any situation. But Mr. Box evidently felt the need to crank up the tension this time around, and for whatever reason introduces events that do increase the suspense but which violate the character of Joe Pickett that has been established. It's a shame. Out of Range therefore falls outside the range (!) of the series, which otherwise gets at least four stars per book, and sometimes five.
Joe, the Wyoming Game Warden usually working and living in a mythical Twelve Sleep County, including the only slightly mythical town of Saddlestring, is sent to deal with the aftermath of another warden's apparent suicide in the Jackson Hole area. Needless to say, the suicide is not what it at first appears to be, but Joe feels himself falling into the same mess that caused the other guy's death, with the implication that Joe is headed for the same fate. We know of course that it will all turn out all right, otherwise the next dozen books wouldn't exist (!), but the plot revolves around how he's going to escape with his sanity and his life.
The main plot does grow out of the characters, thankfully. It's a couple of contrived subplots that violate our picture of who Joe Pickett is. C.J. Box is a good enough writer that this episode in the series is worth reading in spite of the problems. I just wish it was as good as the others.
A couple of comments, I've sold life insurance. I did so for years, successfully. Suicide is NOT exempted on "most" insurance policies. It is not paid for if it occurs in the first two years of the policy being in effect, after that, no problem. Location 1720.
Also, in location 2735, an ethical hunter brings in a gut shot fawn, accidentally killed. It happens. But during rifle season, and even before, there would be no spots on this year's fawn by then.
Great book, great read, recommend it to all ages who like the outdoors, hunting, action, mystery and/or romance novels. C.J. Box delivers.
Out of Range takes Pickett out of Saddlestring, WY and delivers him to the unfamiliar world of Jackson, where the pace is faster, the monied interests greater and the visibility higher in Wyoming's scenic playground. Pickett must take a temporary posting for a fellow game warden who killed himself after his life took a series of wrong turns.
But as is the case in this series, there is more than meets the eye. Pickett must contend with wealthy and powerful developers, political power houses, independent minded hunting guides and a host of other characters as he investigates his colleague's death. In his longest sojourn away from his wife and family, Pickett must also deal with the temptations of the road while Marybeth comes to rely upon a family friend who is the only male she can lean on while Joe is away.
Fast paced with interesting characters and the usual plot twists found in the series. A good read again, Mr. Box!
Top reviews from other countries
Once in Jackson, Joe discovers that he's looked-down on as a country hick by most of his new colleagues and the people he has to deal with: law-enforcement officers, property developers, tourist guides, landowners and a representative of the "real meat" movement, in which people who were once vegetarians have now moved up or down (depending on your viewpoint!) to eating meat so long as they know the animal concerned and can ensure it has not been polluted by any modern farming treatments. There's big money in this, and Joe is plunged into being pressured to complete the permit application for a huge area of forest for these animals to live. Joe's concern is for the natural wildlife of the region, and whether elk, moose and other indigenous animals will be free to roam along their usual migration paths if the new "farm" is built.
Not only does Joe face this problem, but he's not popular with the local sheriff, either, who has been pre-alerted by Joe's previous nemesis, Sheriff Barnum of Saddlestring, that Joe is likely to want to investigate the warden's death. Despite being warned off, Joe isn't convinced that the death was a suicide, so begins to ask around.
In parallel with this plot, Marybeth, Joe's wife, is struggling back at the family's meagre home. She is resentful at Joe for leaving her to look after everything, and is soon embroiled in trying to deal with locals who need Joe's services (as Joe's temporary replacement has not shown up), and with a person who keeps calling the house and hanging up. Eventually, she calls on Nate, Joe's falconer friend, to help - with mixed results that move the series on.
I am pleased that the author is keeping the series fresh by trying out new themes, rather than repeating the successful formula of previous novels. Although I don't think Out of Range is the best Joe Pickett novel to date, it is nevertheless a diverting read - as usual, becoming darker than one might at first think as the pages turn.
Joe gets off to a bad start when he can't bring himself to shoot a rogue bear, but can he shoot a man before he is shot himself? Can he fight his attraction to the woman who was having an affair with his predecessor and wants Joe to take his place? What is making him feel and act so strangely when he is in town that disappears when he is out on the trail? And just how far will the developers go to get permission for their 'real meat' farm to be given the go ahead?
Meanwhile back 'home' ex sheriff Barnum is out for revenge on Nate and on Joe's family, can Nate protect them and who else will end up dead?
If you have read and enjoyed the other books in this series then you should enjoy this one too but if you haven't read any before then I would recommend reading them in chronological order.
As is usual Joe is in the wilderness of intrigue, double dealing and burgeoning matrimonial problems.
The book opens with Joe and the family at Missy Vankueren's 4th wedding, Missy being Joe's mother in law. While there, Joe hears from the new sheriff, Kyle McLanahan, that his freind and fellow Game Warden, Will Jensen, who operated out of Jackson, had committed 'suicide'.
Joe is assigned to temporary look after that district, which means leaving the family for a while. Before we leave we discover that Joe has been receiving silent phone calls over the last couple of months and this with the order to leave for another district troubles him.
Nate Romanowski, the recluse 'ex government agent' tells Joe that he will look after the family while he is away. Not knowing that a mysterious guy from his past is about to arrive in Saddlestring armed with sniper rifles and who engages the help of ex Sheriff Barnum......... what happens next is....................................... sorry no spoilers, you are going to have to check out the book. Although we do find an interesting piece of news early on in the book about a find out in the wilderness by Nate that seemingly plays a part in....... no, too much give away.
So, Joe heads off to Jackson and meets up with his supervisor Trey before he gets there while they track down a rogue grizzly, and the trapping of that gives Trey some doubts about Joe as he seems to freeze at a critical moment, but if you read the previous book this may not come as a surprise......
Finally Joe gets to Jackson and finds that his history with 'Sheriff' Barnum and his propensity for sticking his nose in where it was not wanted or needed.
Joe finds that his predecessor had been blocking a multi million $ land development deal and that the developer was desperate to get him on his side. To complicate things Joe felt the same spark that he had only felt twice before in his life, once, when he 'did it' for the first time and the second time, 'when he first saw Marybeth'. He found that spark again when he met 'Stella Ennis' the developer's wife. Unknown to Joe, Marybeth in Saddlestring, was having similar feelings towards Nate......
Animal rights people and 'Outfitters' the people licensed by the state to guide hunters into the wilderness are all thrown at us in this book as well as Joe been thrown in jail for allegedly 'taking a swing' at the American Vice President..........
Out of Range, really is as good as the previous 4 books in the series. Box hits the right notes with the loneliness that guys in that line of work must feel and of that of their wives and families and intermingles all of this with the intrigue of land deals, politics, murder and loyalty, what motre can you want from a good book................
Well deserving of 5 out of 5 stars
Out of Range (Joe Pickett)