Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introducing Joe Pickett

Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)Open Season by C.J. Box
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Several people have recommended this series to me, so since they've steered me to some great books, I started with the first book.  I have to admit that I almost abandoned it, but I'm glad I kept on.  The 2nd half of the book grabbed me, and I finally started liking Joe Pickett, the game warden "detective" protagonist of the series.

Pickett is a Wyoming game warden. He and his family are struggling on a small state salary. They inadvertently become involved in a murder  when the victim staggers into their yard in the middle of the night, scaring Sheridan, the oldest daughter.  While the local authorities pass off the murder as the work of an unhinged resident, Joe isn't so sure.  When the possibility that the extinct Miller's weasel isn't extinct arises, tensions heighten.  Joe is not perfect.  He has a reputation for "bonehead" mistakes - arresting the governor for fishing without a license, allowing a miscreant outfitter to take his gun, but he also has a reputation for honesty, sincerity, and loyalty.  He's also a good warden.  Joe's daughter Sheridan, a second-grader, plays a pivotal role in the unraveling of events, and Joe's determination to protect his family gives him the strength he needs to get to the bottom of things.

I knew early on who the "bad guys" were, and the actual mystery was not hard to figure out.  I did really like the main characters, and I also liked the way CJ Box created a sense of place.  I will try the next few books in the series to see if they continue to grab my attention.

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