28 October 2008

Rural Dirty Harry

A few weeks ago, book angel Mary dropped off a copy of C. J. Box's new book, Blood Trail. As a break from fall gardening and editing a government and politics book while up at Sidetrack, I picked it up and started reading one evening. In fits and starts that night and the next day I read the book. For me it was a compelling story as long as I kept it in the fairy tale category.

Since the first of Box's books I read, his stories, which he tells well, have gone from being mysteries to being "adventures." His main character in most of these stories has gone from being Joe Pickett, straight arrow game warden to being Dirty Harry of northern Wyoming.

Maybe Cheyenne is more wild west than I imagine or maybe C.J. Box just imagines (or wishes) it were more wild west. Rough justice, as defined by Box's characters is what this is all about. Maybe it works for Box and fellow Wyominger Dick Cheney. But I've had enough. I'd rather go back to reading vaguely depressing mysteries about Swedish serial killers. And I'd like a bit more respect for the rule of law in Wyoming and Washington, D.C., and Guantanamo and just about anywhere that people think they are the sole arbiters of justice.

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