Saturday, August 15, 2009

Below Zero

My husband and I are both fans of C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series. As soon as a new book in the series comes out, one of us will pick it up. Recently, my husband came home from a trip with the latest, Below Zero. As soon as he finished reading it, I snatched it up.

I like settling into my reading chair with an old friend. And by old friend, I mean a series character that I like and look forward to meeting up with again. And that’s the way Joe Pickett feels. He’s not a Rambo kind of guy. He’s an everyday man, a Wyoming game warden, who does the best he can, lives by his morals, stays true to his friends, and, when punched, punches back. In Below Zero, the punches are personal.

Pickett is not all that complicated. He’s rather like you and me. We are what we are and most of us don’t have a lot of hidden agendas or skeletons in the closet. We can identify with Pickett. But, of course, Pickett comes up against some really bad guys. In Below Zero, he’s up against Stenko, a Chicago mobster, and his son. The stakes are high, really high, as well as dear to Pickett and his family. There’s not much Pickett won’t do or endure this time.

For someone who’s read every book in the series, there’s a bit of a drag when Box tells some back story, but it’s necessary. So if this is your first in the Joe Pickett series, you could pick up Below Zero and not be lost. But the back story will make you want to read the earlier books, so you might as well start from the beginning.

It’s a fast-paced book with a good guy and some really bad guys and with stakes about as high as they can get.

I liked it and recommend it.
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  1. This sounds like a winner. I appreciate your comment that the book contains back story (I haven't read the other books in the series)--that means I can dive right in! Thanks, Helen.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. For those of us living in Wyoming, C.J. is a national treasure.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. It DOES sound like a book and series I'd enjoy.

    The Old silly

  4. and most of us don’t have a lot of hidden agendas or skeletons in the closet

    eyes darting left and right Yes, I concur, we're all normal here!

    I'm always on the look out for new thriller authors for my parents. C J Box is available on as an import but it's patchy. He doesn't seem to have a UK publisher. That's not necessarily a drawback as US books can be cheaper than UK published ones, but it's a little dispiriting that a New York Times best-selling author can't get a UK deal. What hope the rest of us? (If and when...)

  5. I've met C.J.Box and he's a really nice guy as well as a wonderful writer. Donald Maass always says, "backstory is fine as long as the past matters NOW."

  6. I agree with Donald Maass about backstory. Never met C.J., Conda, but I would like to!

    Thank goodness your eyes flitted right past me, Anton.

    Glad to hear I've introduced C.J. to a couple of you.

  7. I like that type of character! Most of us don't have a lot of drama in our lives.

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  8. I love it when a book appeals to both husband and wife! Neat.

  9. Sounds like a good series. I'll have to add this to my list of authors to try. I just finished Dark Horse by Craig Johnson. THis was also set in Wyoming and is the first book I've read that was set there. Really enjoyed it.

  10. I have not heard of this series, I will look out for it, thanks.

  11. Maryann, I've not heard of Craig Johnson. I'll have to keep an eye out for his books.

  12. Sounds like one that might be good for my book club. Thanks.

    It's always a dilemma picking up a series in the middle. I hate it when I see a book in a series, say #4, and the bookstores no longer carry #1 and 2. Ack! Fortunately Amazon can usually solve that problem.


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