C. J. Box is a star

Booklist gave C. J. Box’s newest, OUT OF RANGE, a star! Here’s the full text:

When a fellow game warden kills himself, Joe Pickett is transferred to Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s very own California, where the new and old Wests collide head-on. Pickett investigates the suicide, meanwhile angering both a hotheaded developer and an irascible outfitter, and attracting the developer’s beautiful wife. (Back home in Saddlestring, Joe’s wife, Marybeth, calls family friend Nate Romanowski for help with threatening phone calls and finds herself tempted, too.) Contemporary issues are always integral to Box’s books, and here he examines the modern quest for authenticity through something called the “Good Meat Movement.” In the fifth installment of any series, even one this good, one might reasonably expect a creeping sense of routine. But, if anything, Box is getting better. Incorporating his own natural curiosity into his characters’ opinions, he strides a Teton-sharp line between the hard-boiled ethos, where concepts or right and wrong are almost meaningless given the world’s ways, and a western sensibility, where a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, Joe eventually delivers the line: “I just killed the only man in Jackson Hole I really understood.” But although Pickett is a laconic western archetype, there’s no mythmaking here. He’s a family man, likeably flawed, and evolving every year. Recommended for practically everybody.


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