My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Joe Pickett fits the profile of the game warden perfectly. Here’s a man who has deeply seated values, who want to live in the outdoors and loves to go beyond the call of duty to solve the cases that confront a ranger. He doesn’t sweep things under the rug, whether it’s a poached elk or a niggling suspicion about a crime scene that will ultimately lead him into a situation of life and death.
I found the exploding cow scenario a bit far out, but hey try anything once if you’re a hardened killer like Charlie Tibbs. There isn’t a whole lot of description of the man personally, it’s more of what he doesn’t say as his buddy, the Old Man, John Coble, asks questions or makes statements about the murders they are committing and the places they go. Charlie is definitely one man you don’t want to get on the wrong side of!
C.J. has done an excellent job of setting the scene in Wyoming and developing his characters in a way that makes me despise and hate the lawyer, Finotta, love the irascible nature of his crippled wife, detest the Sheriff who can’t hold onto his values as a law enforcement man, and empathize with the various environmental characters, even if I don’t agree with their tactics of spiking trees (Hey, an innocent guy could get really hurt!). Stewie doesn’t really capture me, but his demise is unique. The methodology of the murders is well thought out, including the grisly grizzly bear scenario (yuk). I think Joe’s wife, Marybeth, needs a larger part in a future book. Hey, my sisters can ride and shoot, I’ll bet Marybeth could show a rustler a thing or two.
Keep entertaining us C.J. you’ve got a good thing going!
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