Book of the Day
By C.J. BOX
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Review by Danny Lindsey
Who would have thought that a Wyoming Game Warden could be embroiled in so much murder, mayhem, and mystery that it would take at least 18 books to cover all of it? In C.J.Box’s latest in the Joe Pickett series, The Disappeared, (G.P. Putnam's Sons, March 2018) Joe once again finds himself in unfamiliar and potentially dangerous territory.
Wyoming’s new governor is different. Where his predecessor used Joe Pickett as a valuable asset in solving some of the most difficult cases, the new chief executive governs by threat and coercion. He sends Joe to investigate the months’ old disappearance of a female British executive, who failed to return from a week’s stay at a high-end guest ranch.
The more Joe learns the more complex and sinister the case becomes. Despite the fact that his oldest daughter is a working wrangler at the ranch, clues are few and far between. No one wants to talk about the missing woman, least of all the ranch manager. His position is that any publicity linking the ranch to her or her disappearance is bad publicity.
Joe’s closest friend and one-time federal fugitive Nate Romanowski follows Joe, for more than a single reason. A master falconer, he needs Joe’s help with a licensing situation; plus he is well aware that Joe’s special assignments more often than not require his own special brand of assistance, sometimes (always) outside of the legal ways of obtaining information.
Matters are complicated by the appearance of the disappeared woman’s sister and a British journalist, although the term journalist is utilized in its most all-embracing definition. He is little more than a muck-raking, headline-seeking hack, who spares no opportunity to disparage the area, the people, the state, and even the weather. He manages to so meddle in the investigation that Joe and the local law officials are sent into the wilderness on a wild goose chase which ends up an embarrassment for all involved except the journalist, who delights in its conclusion.
The Disappeared is well-told by an experienced storyteller, although not one to be the first Joe Pickett to read. Occasional references to people and places are best understood by having read some or all of the seventeen previous books in the series. But Joe Pickett fans will not be disappointed – this one is vintage Joe.
Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L. based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website www.ssv.org, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.
Update: Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice – so he will not be unpublished for long!