A Star For Free Fire

Remember that Booklist critic who loved C.J. Box’s new book so much that he wrote about it on his blog? Well, his review came out recently, and we sure are glad he stayed up all night reading it because he gave it a starred review!

He writes:

Box set the standards so high with his Joe Pickett series that, once in a while, he’s had a hard time getting over the bar himself, as with In Plain Sight (2006), where he just tripped it with his toe. In Free Fire, however, he gets over cleanly. Pickett, having been fired as a game warden, is working as foreman of his father-in-law’s ranch when Wyoming’s loose-cannon governor, Spencer Rulon, reinstates him–not to work his old district but to investigate, without official support, a crime in Yellowstone National Park. A lawyer has found a legal loophole that allows him to kill four campers and walk away scot-free, enraging Rulon. (A remote, uninhabited part of the park, soon dubbed the “Zone of Death,” has murky jurisdiction and no residents to form a jury.) But, sure as Pickett is hard on government vehicles, there’s something even more sinister than a twisted legal mind behind the murders. Box is a master at working New West issues into his stories–here it’s something called biomining–exploring pro and con arguments without missing a storytelling beat. And, mining series gold, he’s forged a perfect alloy of familiar and fresh. Though Joe’s far out in no-man’s-land, as professionally on his own as he’s ever been, the family man’s moral compass is as strong as ever. And setting the action in the bubbling Yellowstone caldera–which could blow sky high any minute, we’re told–is a masterstroke, lending both urgency and the long view to the proceedings. Once again, recommended for practically everybody.


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