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Box has always been adept at giving Joe Pickett, his old-school Wyoming game warden, modern issues to confront. Here, Joe finds himself tracking Butch Roberson, the father of his younger daughter's best friend, after Butch seemingly kills two armed EPA agents and heads for the hills. Armed EPA agents? You read that right. In this nightmarish scenario, the EPA carries guns, the Forest Service has a SWAT team, and an unhinged administrator can target a fugitive with a missile-carrying drone. Hell had broken open, and hundreds of bureaucrats were gushing out, laments Pickett, wondering whether he can stand to wear his badge anymore. Should war break out between the government and the people, he knows whose side he would be on. His outrage is understandable, but, still, this is a far cry from the thoughtful, balanced takes of previous Picketts. And, despite a fiery, thrilling ending, it's not as seamlessly structured as usual, either. But, whether you watch the skies for black helicopters or not, you'll still have a hard time putting this one down and turning out the light.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Bureaucracy run amok drives Wyoming construction company owner Butch Roberson to the breaking point in Box's excellent 13th Joe Pickett novel (after 2012's Force of Nature). When game warden Pickett investigates a cut fence between private land and public land, he comes across Roberson, who says he entered the public land to scout elk. Before leaving, Pickett delivers a friendly warning to Roberson, who resents the laws restricting his access to public land, to repair the fence. Later, Pickett learns that Roberson is the prime suspect in the killing of two armed EPA agents. Vindictive EPA regional director Juan Julio Batista, who quickly arrives on the scene, calls in a lot of manpower, while Pickett leads a team on horseback into the mountains after Roberson. Former sheriff Kyle McLanahan goes gunning for Roberson, too, prompted by hopes of a reward. Thrilling wilderness chases, chilling stories of the abuse of power, and Pickett's indomitable frontier spirit power this explosive novel. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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In his 13th outing (after Force of Nature), the Wyoming game warden must weigh his devotion to law enforcement versus his personal values and integrity. This conflict is ignited by the murder of two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agents, the flight of accused murderer Butch Roberson, and the reappearance of Joe's old nemesis, ex-Sheriff McLanahan. Joe faces powerful forces who want Roberson dead and his family ruined, while the feds use all resources at their command, including unmanned drones, during the ensuing manhunt. Relying on reason and his strong will, Joe unravels the complicated puzzle and finds corruption and abuse of authority that cause him to re-evaluate his life. VERDICT Like the forest fire described in the book, fans of this series will burn through the pages to discover who-dun-it and why. With each book, Joe Pickett has evolved as a complex, deep character, richly described by Box. Another must-read.-Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.