18 June 2011

Great story again

For at least the third time, our family book pusher provided us with a novel by C. J. Box. I think she likes carefully reading these before they become welcome gifts in our household.

I first read a C. J. Box mystery/adventure when Nancy bought one in West Yellowstone. The first one I wrote about here was Winterkill in 2006. However, I mentioned then that I'd read two earlier books by Box. (I read Open Season and Savage Run in the days before I began posting these notes on the blog. I have written about Free Fire, Blue Heaven, and Below Zero. Along the way, I passed on reading Three Weeks to Say Goodbye because it sounded too grim.

Box is such a good story teller, that I've read most of his books even though, as I've said before, I don't like nastily violent books like these.

As with at least two other Box novels, I didn't want to put this book down once I got into it. Paradoxilly, I kept taking breaks in my reading because I didn't want to be done with the book.

There are two stories in Cold Wind, and they pretty much run parallel to one another until the end of the book. In an earlier book, Wyoming ranger Joe Pickett and his outside-the-law doppleganger Nate Romanowski were seriously estranged from one another. As we might expect one of this book's stories is about Joe and the other is about Nate. At the end of the book, the two stories merge and Joe and Nate reach a kind of truce. And the ending sets up the next story which is likely to threaten Nate, Joe, and Joe's family.

Between the covers of this book, a fabulously rich rancher is murdered, his widow (Joe Pickett's mother-in-law) is accused of the crime, someone clumsily tries to kill Nate, Joe's oldest daughter heads off to college, and Joe spends time monitoring the fall hunting season in north central Wyoming between taking comp days to investigate the murder. The plot is satisfyingly complicated, but it's the story telling that stands out.

As usual, there's a fair amount of improbability in the details of the story, but I can overlook it when it's told this well.

Have you read Cold Wind? other C. J. Box books? Write and tell this little bit of the world what you think.

From the Kindle store

1 comment:

Ken Wedding said...

Dale Stahl wrote, "Kudos for your recent post recommending CJ Box!

Tearing through the first three of his Joe Pickett series as I am traveling. Very entertaining, good characters and that knack western writers have for describing the landscape."