Cold Wind

Author: C.J. Box

When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily (and vice versa), and now he doesn't know what to do -- especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin.

But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl's death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? He has the county attorney and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck.

Whichever way this goes... it's going to be good.

Cold Wind (Joe Pickett, #11)

Publishers Weekly (starred review):

This engaging series just keeps getting better with each new entry!



The eleventh installment in Box's superlative series returns Pickett to his old stomping grounds, Twelve Sleep County, and spins a complicated mystery that entangles familiar series characters in new and surprising ways. Despite Joe’s guess that "things are going to get real Western," they end with a courtroom surprise ("like fuckin’ Perry Mason!" as one old-timer observes). But a closing scene promises plenty of action in the next book, featuring fan favorite Nate Romanowski. Box’s many fans won't be disappointed.


Cleveland Plain Dealer:

This superb series, now in its 11th installment, is rich in character and inventive plot turns. It keeps improving and impressing. Grade: A


Washington Post:

If you've never heard coyotes howl through a Yellowstone night or seen the dawn break over the Tetons, Cold Wind will serve as a first-rate travelogue. If you have, the novel will bring those experiences back for you without the stomach-churning landing at the Jackson Hole, Wyo., airport.


Billings Gazette:

Box's skill in portraying everyday life in the West provides a strong, relatable base for Pickett and his other characters.

The ordinariness grounds the novels and makes subsequent action all the more explosive.

Longtime followers of Pickett's exploits will enjoy the references to previous books and characters. But those new to the series should dive in and get acquainted with the warden.

Reading Cold Wind may be just the inspiration that they need to seek out the earlier books and start from the series' beginning to revel in Box’s mastery of his genre.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Adding spillover thrills to Cold Wind, Wyoming politics and the ways and means of the advent of wind power are thrown into the mix, and complications ensue which trigger Joe’s investigative instincts. A kicked-up notch or two of wallop raises the multilayered promise of this rich and rewarding mystery as Joe speculates about Earl's death, wondering if it is what it appears to be, and broaching the possibility that Missy might have been set up. And he feels a little ambushed with the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his outlaw friend, Nate Romanowski on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests clamoring for his attention. Seems to be a bad case of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t finish at least the chapter you’re reading before you put this page-turner down and go to bed...


Kirkus Reviews:

Joe spends more time than he'd like in rooms with ceilings, but the mystery is strong enough to compensate, and the revelations about wind farms will curl your hair no matter which side you're on.


New West:

What makes Cold Wind enjoyable for those who are interested in more nuance in their reading material is its evocation of Wyoming's land, politics, people, and their values.

Two people describe Pickett as "Dudley Do-Right" in Cold Wind, and it’s his upstanding nature that ultimately proves to be his undoing. Someone who knows Pickett ‘s honest and forthright ways well will end up exploiting these qualities, but not before Cold Wind gives the reader a diverting ride.


Wyoming Tribune Eagle:

It just may be his best work yet, and that includes his standalone Blue Heaven, which earned him the 2008 Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre.

A friend asked if you can enjoy Cold Wind if you have not read the other 10 Pickett novels. The answer is an emphatic yes. This book stands on its own, though the series is worth the time and effort.

The novel is written in Box's usual fast-paced style, and the last 100 pages fly by.